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Humboldt Park Speed Cameras Going Live Despite Alderman's Opposition

By Paul Biasco | December 22, 2015 7:27am
 A speed camera at 1750 N. Pulaski Road that will go live Dec. 23.
A speed camera at 1750 N. Pulaski Road that will go live Dec. 23.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

HUMBOLDT PARK — Three new speed cameras are going live Wednesday in Humboldt Park, despite an alderman's opposition.

The cameras near the Keystone Playlot on Pulaski Road, will go live at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The cameras were activated in November but have been issuing warnings for the first 30 days.

Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) had fought the activation of the cameras for the last year, claiming that the playlot was rarely used by kids and was actually controlled by gangs. He also said the location of the cameras, near a viaduct 1½ blocks from the park, won't make anyone safer. 

"To justify the installation of those speed cameras on the basis of safety of kids, it just doesn't fly," Maldonado said at the time. 

The cameras will be active from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., the hours that the park is open.

The three cameras near the park are located at 1754 N. Pulaski Road, 4053 W. North Ave. and 4042 W. North Ave. 

The first time a driver violates the speed limit on camera, he or she will receive a warning.

After the first warning, drivers speeding 10 or more miles per hour over the limit will be ticketed.

There are currently no plans for further expansion of the automated speed enforcement program, according to the city.

Maldonado has called the cameras a "money grab" by the city.

The cameras were installed about a year ago, but had not been activated until November.

According to the city, speeding violations drop by 53 percent within 90 days of cameras being activated. The city also found that 81 percent of violators who were issued a citation in a school zone did not violate a second time. In park zones, such as the Keystone Playlot, 67 percent of violators did not repeat, according to the city.

"Children's Safety Zones" must be located within 1/8th of a mile from a Chicago park or school, according to the city ordinance.

A DNAinfo analysis of Chicago's speed camera system earlier this year found the program issued more than $108,000 in fines per day.

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