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Protest To Target Controversial Archer Avenue Speed Camera Today

By Ed Komenda | November 6, 2015 12:21pm | Updated on November 9, 2015 8:44am
 The city won't budge on an alderman's request to remove or relocate a controversial speed camera along busy Archer Avenue, despite outcry from countless angry Southwest Side drivers.
The city won't budge on an alderman's request to remove or relocate a controversial speed camera along busy Archer Avenue, despite outcry from countless angry Southwest Side drivers.
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DNAinfo/Casey Cora

MCKINLEY PARK — A controversial speed camera installed near the 3200 block of South Archer Avenue will go live on Monday, according to Ald. George Cardenas (12th).

Cardenas, who publicly opposed the camera when the city rolled through the neighborhood to install it in 2014, is now calling on local folks to protest the camera’s activation.

“This camera is nothing more than an aggressive tactic to nickel-and-dime the taxpayers of this area,” Cardenas said.

The protest is scheduled for 10 a.m. today  at 3200 S. Archer Ave.

The alderman called the city’s investment to install a camera 200 feet away from the Mulberry Playlot Park is nothing more than “lipstick on a pig.”

Though the city's transportation department lists the camera at 3200 S. Archer Ave., it's actually about a block south of Archer, tucked away on Robinson Street — an access road often used by semi-trucks as a shortcut to the Stevenson Expressway.

In October 2014, the camera drew protesters to the same stretch of road. Cardenas even urged the city to close Mulberry Playlot Park to kill the Archer Avenue camera.

Cardenas said it appears the city built the Mulberry Playlot with the sole intention of hanging the camera.

“Don’t lie to the people,” Cardenas said. “This is about money… This is about a speed camera that will pick-pocket you.”

The city started installing speed cameras outside schools and parks in 2013 in an effort to prevent pedestrian accidents in "children's safety zones."

After a 30-day grace period that starts when a camera is installed, drivers begin facing fines of $35-$100 for speeding.

The impact has been astounding.

A DNAinfo analysis published in May discovered more than $100,000 in speed camera fines were issued per day citywide. That translates to more than 2,900 tickets per day — or $58 million in speed camera fines citywide.

According to Cardenas, a recent survey of over 700 12th Ward residents showed more than 65 percent of them opposed the camera.

“I will take any and all action necessary to fight City Hall and remove this camera immediately,” Cardenas said. “I encourage the community to join me in protesting this camera.”

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