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Shaker Residents & Officials Respond to Traffic Camera Recommendation

People who attended the city's work session earlier this week had plenty say about traffic cameras in Shaker Heights

Shaker residents and officials had varying opinions at a Monday night work session regarding the potential installation of traffic cameras.

Here is a sample of what some people had to say.

Shaker Heights resident Noelle Giuffrida

"We applaud the city's consideration of the red-light, and more importantly, the speed cameras, to make the streets safer for residents and maybe even raise some revenue. Our concern is that some of the suggestions we've seen so far about placement of the cameras could actually cause more safety and traffic problems. Specifically, we believe that installation of traffic cameras on Shaker Boulevard, which I support, but not on South Woodland Road, would increase the already extremely high traffic levels and high number of cars currently speeding through South Woodland.

There are numbers of school bus stops along (South Woodland) and it's a very popular walking destination for residents and their pets ... My husband and I have seen hundreds of vehicles whizz by at 50, 45 ... We welcome the presence of traffic cameras on South Woodland, particularly between Warrensville Center Road and Lee Road."

Shaker Heights resident Belinda Johnson

"I'm really disappointed that Shaker cannot come up with a better way of enforcing safety. If you want to improve safety habits, behavioral scientists will to you to address the behavior at the time it occurs. Not a month later. If we are an intelligent community, I'm sure we can come up with a way to address this so that everyone's safety is improved."

Shaker Heights resident Gerald Shaffer

"It's up to us to take whatever action it takes to make sure that we don't see the speeders going through this community. We have a lot more traffic now than we ever have. Twenty, 30 years ago, we didn't have this kind of traffic. It's a race to see who can get to Warrensville as you're going up Shaker, and then it's a race to see who can get to Richmond. Then, it's a free-for-all. We can't have that in a residential community of ours or any of the other ones around us."

Shaker Heights Councilman James Brady

[Editor's note: Brady was not present at the meeting, but councilwoman Lynn Ruffner agreed to read a letter on his behalf.]

"I have given the traffic-light proposal a lot of consideration, and still believe that this is the absolute wrong decision for the City of Shaker Heights. I understand the argument for safety, as well as for better redeployment of our police officers. However, these arguments are smokescreens developed by the manufacturers of these devices to justify their utilization.

If these arguments were, in fact true, the companies who place these lights would allow the local safety forces 100 percent control of where they are placed. Instead, they decide where most of them are placed, and these decisions are based on where they can gain the most revenue since they share a portion of that ticket revenue. If the city moves forward with this decision, it will amount to nothing more than an additional tax on our already over-burdened residents. For this reason, I employ you to reconsider your position on this move and save our great residents a hassle and unnecessary expense."

Mark Zetzer December 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I agree with Councilman Brady that these traffic cams are sold to cities as revenue streams more than as safety devices that local police can control. Other solutions being used elsewhere include increasing yellow light times by a second or two, and creating awareness among citizens to identify and report speeding and other traffic hazards. With residents of all ages armed with the ubiquitous cell phone and tablet cameras, perhaps we could initiate a campaign of citizen reporting of traffic violations and other crimes. That way we retain control over our own law enforcement and safety without adding to the prohibitive tax, fee and fine burden already placed on Shaker Heights residents.

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