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Cotuit

Traffic Enforcement Cameras

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There's a new gigantic sign on Steeple Street that says something to the effect of "Traffic Enforcement by Camera" or some such. And it has a graphic of a camera and a traffic signal. I remember there being a question on the legality of the enforcement camera program, I guess it was deemed to be legal. Anyone else see any of these signs anywhere? The one on Steeple went up today, because it wasn't there yesterday.

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There's a new gigantic sign on Steeple Street that says something to the effect of "Traffic Enforcement by Camera" or some such. And it has a graphic of a camera and a traffic signal. I remember there being a question on the legality of the enforcement camera program, I guess it was deemed to be legal. Anyone else see any of these signs anywhere? The one on Steeple went up today, because it wasn't there yesterday.

[rant]

You know what would be nice?

If traffic people actually took the time to understand the crappy traffic situations they create with their idiotic programming of lights instead of just working all the time on enforcement.

I know most of UP hates cars and whatever, and I wouldn't use mine downtown if I had effective alternative means. But, getting through or across Steeple street is an exercise in patience every time one has to do it, no matter what time of day. The north Main Light and the Canal St. Light and then the Memorial Blvd. light are an agreggate of about 500 feet apart, and yet not one of them "knows" what the other is doing. The light stays red on north Main and Canal for far too long allowing traffic on steeple through those two lights...only to get held at Memorial Blvd 3/4 of the time, creating a traffic backup. They took away the right on red from Canal which was good for pedestrians but they didn't change anything else about the traffic pattern. When 70% of the traffic going through an intersection was using that right on red, you can't just take it away and do nothing else.

Learn how to program lights to get traffic to flow correctly, and people will be much more willing to obey the lights. Sitting for 90 seconds at a red light with no cross traffic (car or pedestrian) like I had to at 1 AM on Friday night is a recipe for people to ignore the things.

[/rant]

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The state passed a law last year. These things need to be watched very closely...

Wrote this about it around a year ago.

(For about a year now we've had a traffic engineer with real credentials for the first time in like 20 years.)

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The state passed a law last year. These things need to be watched very closely...

Wrote this about it around a year ago.

(For about a year now we've had a traffic engineer with real credentials for the first time in like 20 years.)

This is good news. A good traffic engineer can make the city safer for pedestrians and drivers alike and can enhance the feel of a city with well planned flow.

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David: Great and learned response on your site to this issue...

Brick: 100% correct in everything you mention. Red/green light coordination in Providence (especially on North Main, Dean Street, and Waterman/Angell) is easily the worst I've ever seen anywhere.

I had heard that we finally do have a "real" traffic engineer, and he/she can't get busy on this fast enough.

Regarding RLC: I think everyone is putting their fingers in their ears and humming loud regarding the British experience (by far the nation most widely using these and speed cameras), which I recall basically showed little to no reduction in accidents (but huge sources of revenue). I also recall reading about a Midwestern city (it may have been Minneapolis, actually) which actually saw an increase in rear endings at intersections with cameras because cars were slamming on their brakes at any yellow rather than risk a ticket.

I'll try to find the data...

- Garris

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I'm a Civil Liberties absolutist, but... when it comes to traffic enforcement I think everyone in Rhode Island is guilty until proven innocent. I've lived in urban settings all my adult life and have never felt as maligned and endanged as a pedestrian as I do in Providence.

On the topic of the sign specifically, it's HUGE! It's directly in front of one of the city's most historic buildings telling people what they should already know, "stop when the light's red or you'll get a ticket." Annoying.

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i am 100% against the use of traffic enforcement cameras. they put them on eaton st at huxley by PC. they've been there for a while now, maybe even about a year. but they just recently (within the last week) put up no turn on red signs there (i have to turn right off of huxley to get home) and i can't turn there anymore... does this mean the cameras were just activated and only sitting there for the past year doing nothing? they also put cameras on the corner of chalkstone and oakland by roger williams hospital and the VA hospital (just to use nearby landmarks for those unfamiliar with the area).

these cameras are not going to fix any problems. all the cameras do is say "don't let anyone borrow your car because if they screw up, you're the one to get screwed, not the actual driver". they also make it impossible to appeal a ticket or get just a warning from a cop because the laws about stopping at red lights usually indicate that if you're going too fast at the time the light turns yellow, you should keep going and not slam on your brakes to stop. the only way this form of enforcement can actually work is if they actually allow you to argue (and i'm sure a good lawyer could take this up with a judge) that there's no proof that you were the actual driver of the car and you can use your insurance info with your kid or spouse included as a part time driver to prove that you're not the only driver of that vehicle. in most multi-car situations, it's cheaper to register and insure your car under one name rather than multiple names.

they need to stop passively enforcing the laws and actually get the cops to do what they're paid for. and we need newly painted lines for crosswalks and signs like those in philly... "don't block the box"

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Are you sure those "cameras" on Chalkstone aren't sensor devices for recognizing emergency rescue vehicles that turn the lights from red to green for them? They were all over Minnesota and people used to confuse them for cameras all the time.

The position near the two hospitals makes me think that as well...

- Garris

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Are you sure those "cameras" on Chalkstone aren't sensor devices for recognizing emergency rescue vehicles that turn the lights from red to green for them? They were all over Minnesota and people used to confuse them for cameras all the time.

The position near the two hospitals makes me think that as well...

- Garris

there's 2 poles there... one that looks like a sensor and one that's a box that looks liek a camera... they're the same as the ones on eaton (not near any hospital) and i think they've got the traffic enforcement camera signs there too...

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I'm a Civil Liberties absolutist, but... when it comes to traffic enforcement I think everyone in Rhode Island is guilty until proven innocent. I've lived in urban settings all my adult life and have never felt as maligned and endanged as a pedestrian as I do in Providence.

On the topic of the sign specifically, it's HUGE! It's directly in front of one of the city's most historic buildings telling people what they should already know, "stop when the light's red or you'll get a ticket." Annoying.

indeed. as someone who was hit by a car by the mall, i have to say that anything that gets cars to stop creeping into or speeding thru intersections is generally OK with me.

BTW, how big is that sign? Think it needed a zoning variance for signage size?

hahahaha!

they need to stop passively enforcing the laws and actually get the cops to do what they're paid for. and we need newly painted lines for crosswalks and signs like those in philly... "don't block the box"

we have a Do Not Block Intersection signs at Broadway and the 95 Off Ramp and i must get stuck there for three or four light cycles at least twice a week. That would be an awesome place for an actual police officer to direct traffic in the evenings and when there are big events downtown.

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BTW, how big is that sign? Think it needed a zoning variance for signage size?

I'll snap a photo of it on the way home. It's really huge, there's no way anyone can say they didn't see it.

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indeed. as someone who was hit by a car by the mall, i have to say that anything that gets cars to stop creeping...

I was tapped by a car at Dean and Atwells not too long ago. The woman driving was creeping into the intersection, she kept stopping and rolling, the light was red, I had the right of way (but since there are no functioning walk signals there, it would be hard for me to know that :unsure: ). I walked, during one of her stops, then she rolled into me, slamming on her brakes just as her bumper reached my leg, lightly touching it (I can't really say I was 'hit'). I let loose with a lovely stream of expletives and threw my iced coffee at her car. I felt much better after that, but missed my iced coffee once it was gone. :(

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I was tapped by a car at Dean and Atwells not too long ago. The woman driving was creeping into the intersection, she kept stopping and rolling, the light was red, I had the right of way (but since there are no functioning walk signals there, it would be hard for me to know that :unsure: ). I walked, during one of her stops, then she rolled into me, slamming on her brakes just as her bumper reached my leg, lightly touching it (I can't really say I was 'hit'). I let loose with a lovely stream of expletives and threw my iced coffee at her car. I felt much better after that, but missed my iced coffee once it was gone. :(

The problem is that there is pretty significant evidence that RLC doesn't do anything to avoid this kind of thing. I know that is the pitch that cities use to justify taking away people's privacy rights, but it doesn't work that way.

Better designed intersections, improved engineering of the roads and crosswalks, and improved traffic flow are all much more effective at public safety. Of course, they all come at a cost, where RLC promises a city revenues. It's not hard to see why it is popular with cities.

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I noticed the sign at Chalkstone and Oakland last night on my drive home. I had seen the camera there for months just like the one at Huxley, and always wondered if they were in use. Now that there are new signs up, and I saw a guy working on the camera one afternoon, I'm fairly certain if they're not in use now, they will be soon.

QUOTE(Cotuit @ Mar 21 2006, 04:24 PM) *

I was tapped by a car at Dean and Atwells not too long ago. The woman driving was creeping into the intersection

I am so scared of this... :shok: When I bike to work, I constantly see people stop (barely) and creep as I bike in front of their car. I'm tempted to carry an air horn. Although.. an iced coffee isn't a bad idea...

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Although.. an iced coffee isn't a bad idea...

It exploded on her windshield, I was beyond pissed.

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i once through a cup of hot tea on the hood of a car that breezed me while i was in the intersection on Hope Street by Barris and Holley building. The guy screeched to a halt and got out of his car and started after me and i ran through the parking lot there and into the Physics department and hid there for 15 minutes and then, needless to say, started walking a different route to work.

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I was tapped by a car at Dean and Atwells not too long ago. The woman driving was creeping into the intersection, she kept stopping and rolling, the light was red, I had the right of way (but since there are no functioning walk signals there, it would be hard for me to know that :unsure: ). I walked, during one of her stops, then she rolled into me, slamming on her brakes just as her bumper reached my leg, lightly touching it (I can't really say I was 'hit'). I let loose with a lovely stream of expletives and threw my iced coffee at her car. I felt much better after that, but missed my iced coffee once it was gone. :(

i would've stopped and called the cops. at the very least, she would've gotten a ticket for stopping in front of the stop line (and on the crosswalk) and would've been taught a very good lesson (and the coffee on the windshield could've been an accident because you were frightened and jumped when she nearly ran you over).

that's another one of my issues besides the bad idea the cameras are, there's a lot of non-functioning stop lights (for no apparent reason like the ones by the mall that i've mentioned and lately the one at the intersection of west exchange and dean). and also, there's a lot of walk signals that just don't do anything but sit there. my biggest issue is the one on the corner of river and eaton by the main PC gate (where there is significant foot traffic and i plan on walking that once it gets warmer and i can get myself up earlier to get to work on time by walking).

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I'll snap a photo of it on the way home. It's really huge, there's no way anyone can say they didn't see it.

Bit blurry, sorry.

2006-0321-trafficcamsign.jpg

2006-0321-trafficcamsign002.jpg

As I crossed North Main after taking this picture, I was nearly run over by a car making a right from the middle lane. :rolleyes:

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Well I am afraid this is just the start.

Here in Charlotte we have not only red light cameras to catch people that run lights, but we also have radar cameras that catch speeders. The radar ones are particularly devious as they move those around the city.

If you run a light or break the speed limit the camera takes a photo of your car including the license plate. You get a $50 fine in the mail along with the photo showing the offense. There is no defense and you have to pay. It's considered the same as getting a parking ticket so it doesn't hit your insurance. It's the owner of the vehicle that pays, not the one driving the car. (unless it is the same person)

It's a money maker for cities and the companies that run these things.

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Well I am afraid this is just the start.

Here in Charlotte we have not only red light cameras to catch people that run lights, but we also have radar cameras that catch speeders. The radar ones are particularly devious as they move those around the city.

If you run a light or break the speed limit the camera takes a photo of your car including the license plate. You get a $50 fine in the mail along with the photo showing the offense. There is no defense and you have to pay. It's considered the same as getting a parking ticket so it doesn't hit your insurance. It's the owner of the vehicle that pays, not the one driving the car. (unless it is the same person)

It's a money maker for cities and the companies that run these things.

again, i don't have an issue if there's a way to appeal it and have it thrown out. do they assign points against your license for these or do they just give you a small fine ($50 is small for running a light or speeding in most places around here, cnosidering there's $50 parking tickets)? if that's the case, then there's really no point in using these because you can't really take away someone's license. again, they should be outlawed because it's not necessarily the owner who commits the offense.

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Haven't these been on North Main St. for a few years now? And on Route 4 in South County?

the one on 4, at the second light heading south... is that actually an enforcement camera to catch people who run the light? it's a fairly complicated setup...

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If we do get speeding cameras, one area on the East Side I guarantee will get it is Gano Street across from the Dunkin Donuts. They not infrequently have squad cars watching speeding near the park there and they've had those "Your speed is..." trailers there several times.

Again, as Brick says, no one has proven these devices do anything beneficial for safely except generate revenue. If they promise to put the revenue exclusively towards increased enforcement, fixing sidewalks, and better traffic planning, then maybe I could swallow that pill better, but that's certainly not going to happen...

-Garris

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If we do get speeding cameras, one area on the East Side I guarantee will get it is Gano Street across from the Dunkin Donuts. They not infrequently have squad cars watching speeding near the park there and they've had those "Your speed is..." trailers there several times.

Again, as Brick says, no one has proven these devices do anything beneficial for safely except generate revenue. If they promise to put the revenue exclusively towards increased enforcement, fixing sidewalks, and better traffic planning, then maybe I could swallow that pill better, but that's certainly not going to happen...

-Garris

We're doing a traffic calming at Roger Williams landing this summer...

One of the most damning RLC studies came out of DC last year.

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