Change the Channel
Same Old Crew
Under the Big Eyes
As the city plays a game of red light, green light with intersection cameras, voters will have their say during the Tuesday, Oct. 4 elections. Public opinion will be taken into account, but in the end the fate of the red-light cameras rests with the City Council. The vote will be considered “advisory,” yet councilors will be hard-pressed to ignore your advice.
A contract with Arizona-based Redflex expired in Oct. 2010, and we thought they were gone. No such luck. A month later Mayor Richard Berry reinstated red-light cameras at 14 intersections throughout the city. Not only do the cameras catch you red-handed, estimates say that an additional $370,000 was needed in tax money to keep the program in place. On average, 73 citations are issued per month and make up one-third of the city’s moving violation tickets. Data from 2010 put the intersection at Central and Coors as the clear frontrunner, with 3,036 citations issued between January and August. Add that to 4,385 citations at the same intersection in 2009. Fines are $75 and can be paid by mail or online. The question of whether to keep the system in place goes to Albuquerque voters on Oct. 4. For more on these robocop cameras: 1.usa.gov/abqredlightcameras. (EK)
Seven-Hour Cram Session
Families Stand Against APD Shootings
Velocipedes on Tramway
Albuquerque got a little more bicycle-friendly after the City Council approved a measure to allow bikes on Tramway and other limited-access roads. Councilors removed a prohibition that kept bicyclists off a few roads at the Monday, March 21 meeting. Councilor Trudy Jones said she received hundreds of comments from bicyclists asking to be allowed to ride legally. Police Chief Ray Schultz said his officers would sometimes give warnings to those riding on Tramway and said he is in support of this change.
Red-Light Cameras Remain
There’s been something missing from City Council meetings since the last election: the wagging tail of former Councilor Sally Mayer’s “pet project.” Homeless dogs and cats are no longer led into the Council chambers by Animal Welfare Department employees. Mayer's featured shelter animals were available for adoption at a reduced fee to those attending the meeting or watching on GOV TV. The creatures always brought a more congenial air to the chambers, put everyone in a better mood for a minute or two, and were truly bipartisan. The item is still listed on the agenda, so maybe there’s a chance that some of the city’s furry friends will return to Council meetings.
Six red-light cameras may be going down
If the Council approves the measure, a half-dozen cameras will be taken down, and all cameras will no longer issue citations for speeding.
Say goodbye to red-light cameras at:
Academy and Wyoming
Central and Eubank
Menaul and Carlisle
Coors and Montaño
Coors and Paseo del Norte
Jefferson and Paseo del Norte
Mayor Richard Berry got the results of a study by UNM’s Institute for Social Research. The study found that those six intersections saw no reductions in crash-related costs. He’d asked them to look into the cameras’ effectiveness in March.
The study also states:
There is no proof that ticketing for speeding via camera improved safety; there were more rear-end collisions in some cases; and 30 percent of the intersections saw an increase in property damage.
On a positive note, citizens have saved more than $2 million overall in crash-related costs, injuries decreased (even though rear-end wrecks increased) and the program prevented about 120 injurious accidents.
Citizens have learned how to avoid getting tickets, too. Initially, each camera was issuing about 600 citations per month. By 2008, that number dropped to 100 per month.
If the Council approves Berry’s proposal, the city will also look for a third party to administrate the program and would have a contract ready by the end of this year. In early 2007, the city was being sued by people who argued that it had created its own court.
Berry’s doing what he said he would during last year’s campaign cycle.
Camera Cash Buys Police Cars
Camera Cash Buys Police Cars
Remember paying all those red-light camera tickets? The City Council spent most of the fine money collected since 2005 at the Monday, Feb. 1 meeting. Those dollars were allocated for upgrades to three fire stations, protective equipment for firefighters, 200 police cars and beefing up the party patrol.