Police traffic enforcement is not a recoupable cost


Even if you changed the speed limit to a very reasonable 20 MPH, it would still need enforcement. A campaign in New York City and the UK is called “twenty’s plenty”. Photo by ddartley. 

Just throwing this out there… There’s a lot of talk about speed cameras (and red light cameras) being a “money grab”, that it’s about making money more than improving street safety. (See my comprehensive review of what it means for Chicago that Governor Quinn signed legislation authorizing the City to install speed cameras.)

Let’s say you’re the administrator of a city that needs to do two things: 1) make streets safe to walk and cycle on, 2) receive revenue for needed services (like crime investigation, libraries, or road resurfacing).

To make streets safer, you can reduce the incidence of speeding, and reduce high speed traffic. You could make this happen in several ways with one or more of these strategies: Continue reading Police traffic enforcement is not a recoupable cost

What speed camera legislation means for Chicago (updated)

See all of our speed camera coverage

Governor Quinn signed legislation, public act SB965, on Monday morning to allow any municipality in Illinois with greater than 1 million inhabitants to construct and operate an “automated speed enforcement system”. There’s already a lot of misinformation and I intend to correct the record. I also present information gathered from multiple research studies on the impacts of speed cameras.


A car crash on North Avenue at Kedzie Avenue, in the new safety zone around Humboldt Park. There’s not a red light camera here but there could be a speed camera in the near future. From 2005-2010, there have been 22 injuries to pedestrians and pedalcyclists at this intersection, inflicted in automobile crashes.

The law is an amendment to the red light camera law. It is not the first time speed cameras have been allowed in Illinois. In 2004, Illinois passed the Automated Traffic Control Systems in Highway Construction or Maintenance Zones Act (view it), enabling speed cameras to be used in work zones on highways. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) quickly deployed mobile speed camera vans – I discuss the study of this pilot project in the section, “Do they really make a difference?”. Continue reading What speed camera legislation means for Chicago (updated)

Stories from the Grid Chicago Network: After school programs, speed camera legislation


Bike Club racing team from West Town Bikes at the Indian Lakes Cyclocross race, presented by South Chicago Wheelmen. Photo by Michael Young. 

The Grid Chicago Network is a collection of articles from 43 websites, updated twice a day. The Network page always shows a 7 day stretch (right now there’s 73 articles listed). Here’re the most interesting articles I saw today:

And on my personal blog, Steven Can Plan, I take a different look at the future and potential of the bike boulevard on Berteau Avenue, and compare it to “neighborhood greenways” in other cities.