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Here's Where Red-Light Cameras Are Being Installed, Removed

By Heather Cherone | March 20, 2017 2:45pm | Updated on March 22, 2017 11:44am
 Contractors for Xerox install new red light cameras at the intersection of Diversey and California.
Contractors for Xerox install new red light cameras at the intersection of Diversey and California.
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The Expired Meter.com

JEFFERSON PARK — Red-light cameras at six intersections will be removed after a study by the Northwestern University Transportation Center found that they did nothing to protect motorists, city officials announced.

The red-light cameras to be removed did not reduce the number of crashes even though there were a high number of violations recorded, according to the study by the traffic center.

Two cameras will be removed from each of the following intersections:

• 95th Street and Stony Island Avenue

•​ 71st Street and Western Avenue

•​ Western Avenue and Pershing Road

•​ Grand and Oak Park avenues

•​ Irving Park Road and Kedzie Avenue

•​ Peterson Avenue and Pulaski Road

At the same time, city officials have proposed installing new red-light cameras at five intersections where officials said they might be more effective.

Two cameras will be will be installed at each of the following intersections:

• Wacker Drive and Lake Street

• Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard

• Dearborn and Grand avenues

• Pershing Road and King Drive

In addition, four cameras will be installed at Central Avenue, Foster Avenue, Northwest Highway and Milwaukee Avenue.

The new locations for the red-light cameras were picked "based on traffic volume, the design of the intersection, a high number of angle and turning crashes and a low number of rear-end crashes," officials said.

Transportation officials will hold community meetings before any red-light camera is removed or installed.

The 104-page study from the Northwestern University Traffic Center compared before-and-after crash data at 85 intersections with red-light cameras to 103 intersections that were not monitored by cameras.

Chicago's red-light camera program should continue because it led to a 19 percent reduction in serious side-angle and turning crashes, a 10 percent reduction in injury-producing crashes and a measurable “spillover effect” that improved safety at intersections without cameras, according to the study.

But rear-end crashes increased 14 percent at intersections with red-light cameras as compared with those that did not have the cameras.

"Federal traffic safety research has found that side-angle crashes cause five times more damage than rear-end crashes as well as being more likely to cause fatalities and serious injuries," according to a statement from Chicago transportation officials.

The cameras became a major issue in the 2015 mayoral race, with Cook County Board Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia vowing to remove all the red-light cameras if elected.

A few days after Garcia's announcement, Emanuel announced he would remove 50 cameras at 25 intersections and give red-light violators a chance to attend traffic school in lieu of paying $100 for a first violation.

In all, Emanuel has removed 78 red-light cameras at 39 intersections since taking office, leaving 306 red-light cameras at 151 intersections.