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Alderman: Mayor May Be Looking To Install 1,800 Speed Cameras Across City

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Red Light Cameras

Red Light Cameras (Credit: CBS)

Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Armed with the go-ahead from the governor and Illinois General Assembly, Mayor Emanuel plans to move a step closer to installing speed cameras in Chicago – maybe a whole lot of them.

But some aldermen briefed on legislation expected to be introduced this week are demanding more details, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

Some of the aldermen are worried about where school and park safety stops and where a financial windfall for the city begins – to say nothing about what the speed cameras will be doing “after hours.”

The original plan called for the 79 existing red-light cameras near schools and parks to be retrofitted to clock speeds, too. But according to the website The Expired Meter, when aldermen asked how many speed cameras there might be in the future, the answer raised red flags.

“If we’re talking about safety of every school and every park, you’re talking close to 1,800 locations,” Ald. Scott Waguespack says.

UPDATE: Emanuel Says Political Ally Not Guaranteed Piece Of Speed Camera Deal

Waguespack was at an event Monday with the mayor as he announced $280 million in new and improved city parks. He was listening as Levine asked Emanuel whether the city would ultimately install 1,800 cameras that would operate 24 hours a day.

“That’s not the intention, nor what we’re going to do,” Emanuel responded. “There’ll be some efforts on both where we do it and what hours we do it.”

The difference between what the ordinance says the mayor could do and what he will do is something alderman want to know more about. They’ve been this way before.

“We asked in the briefing for more details, for the data,” Waguespack says. “We want to see it ahead of time, and the mayor and his staff have said they will get that out to us. They don’t want to have a repeat of the parking meter lease under Mayor Daley.”

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