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Red-Light Camera Near Two Schools Should Stay, Ald. Napolitano Says

By Heather Cherone | September 18, 2015 6:02am
 Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) said he told city officials that a red-light camera should not be removed at Touhy and Osecola avenues.
Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) said he told city officials that a red-light camera should not be removed at Touhy and Osecola avenues.
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Facebook/Ald. Anthony Napolitano

EDISON PARK — Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) vowed to take the "necessary steps" to persuade city officials to drop plans to remove a red-light camera at Touhy and Osceola avenues.

That intersection is outside the main entrance to St. Juliana School, and many students cross Touhy Avenue at Osceola Avenue to get to Ebinger Elementary School.

Napolitano said he told city officials at a public meeting this week that the plan to the camera "could not happen," according to a post on his Facebook page.

"I will be taking the necessary steps to ensure that this camera is not removed," said Napolitano, whose staff did not respond Thursday to a request for comment.

City officials also plan to remove the red-light camera at Harlem Avenue and Northwest Highway as part of a citywide program to revamp the controversial program, which became an issue in the mayoral election earlier this year.

The two 41st Ward cameras set to be removed were among 50 cameras Mayor Rahm Emanuel said would be removed in March, at the height of the mayoral and aldermanic elections.

Susan Hofer, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Transportation, said city officials would finalize in October or November the list of cameras to be removed after compiling feedback from community meetings from around the city.

That effort is part of a "holistic approach" to revising the red-light camera program, Hofer said.

The camera at Touhy and Osceola avenues generated $427,630 in fines after issuing 4,462 tickets from 2011 through July, according to information obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

All the cameras that city officials are planning to remove had only one or fewer T-bone crash in 2013, according to state statistics.

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