WEST RIDGE — After an early March promise from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to remove 50 red light cameras throughout the city, four deactivated cameras from two busy West Ridge intersections will soon be removed.
According to the city's transportation department data, the cameras at Western and Pratt and McCormick/Lincoln and Kimball were all deactivated in March and have had no right-angle crashes since 2013, the most recent year CDOT data was available.
The speed camera at Western and Pratt, however, will remain, officials say.
From Dec. 24, 2013 — when the Warren Park camera went online — to 9:42 a.m. on Feb. 10, the cameras have issued 33,003 violations, according to data obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request.
The cameras are at the far northwest corner of Warren Park, a highly-trafficked park in the heart of the neighborhood.
According to the city, red light cameras were put in place mainly to reduce those types of crashes that they say are the most severe.
For every one million cars who pass through those two intersections, only between 1.31-1.34 vehicles were involved in any sort of crash, according to CDOT.
The decision to remove the cameras from 25 intersections was based on a review of Illinois Department of Transportation data, according to the mayor's office. A similar exercise in 2014 led to the removal of 32 cameras from 16 intersections, the first such reduction since the program began in 2003.
Citing a "significant reduction of serious crashes" at the 25 affected intersections (with two cameras per intersection, each looking in opposite directions), Emanuel touted additional reforms that would "allow for increased community input, enhanced public safety and improved transparency.”
West Ridge residents were invited to learn more about the removal at a community meeting Monday at Warren Park.
A CDOT spokesman said after the department wraps up its series of community meetings in other locations where cameras are to be removed, officials "will be making a final determination," as to when to remove them.
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