- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2002

Upper Northwest residents say the District's use of photo-radar and red-light cameras has made their streets safer for pedestrians and seniors.
"I tend to be in favor of the cameras because the driving has gotten much wilder in the city," said Coates Redmon, who lives on Wisconsin Avenue in the Tenleytown neighborhood.
Mrs. Redmon said it was impossible to cross the streets before the cameras were used because cars never gave pedestrians the right of way and routinely ran stoplights and stop signs. "My corner is safer and the cameras have helped, although [the automated traffic enforcement] is annoying to some," she said.
Several parents walking their children to school in the District's Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights and Tenleytown communities yesterday said crossing busy streets like Reno Road is easier since automated enforcement began.
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Frank Bucholz said traffic on Nebraska, Wisconsin and Western avenues, and Military and Reno roads, is calmer and more manageable since the cameras have been in use on Ward 3 streets. The section of Chevy Chase where Mr. Bucholz lives became a part of Ward 4 after redistricting on Jan. 1.
"I would like to thank [police] Chief [Charles H.] Ramsey and the mayor for the photo-radar enforcement to cut down speeding on our roads," Mr. Buchholz said at a Ward 3 meeting Monday.
Photo-radar and red-light camera pictures were posted throughout the room at the Ward 3 Traffic Summit II on Monday night. Pictures taken by the cameras of cars smashed after running red lights and traveling at speeds 20 miles over the limit on residential streets were posted throughout the Chevy Chase Community Center auditorium.
Some ANC commissioners, like Chevy Chase's Joseph L. Bishop, said they were pleased with the enforcement, but questioned the cameras' impact.
"The question that needs to be asked is, why there is such a long delay in people getting the tickets after the cameras flash them?" Mr. Bishop said.
He said most upper Northwest residents want the cameras. Many parents with school-age children are moving in and fear cars speeding through the neighborhoods, he said. The irony, Mr. Bishop said, "is how many people in the neighborhoods end up getting tickets."
Since beginning the photo-radar program in August, the District has issued speeding citations to more than 160,000 drivers and collected more than $5.3 million in fines. Critics say the program violates drivers' privacy and is aimed at generating revenue.
Commissioners in other wards said they are interested in having the automated traffic enforcement in their neighborhoods as long as it leads to long-term safety benefits.
ANC Commissioner James H. Jones said he has requested stop signs on several streets, but that they are not helping on roads like Blagden Avenue leading into Rock Creek Park. Mr. Jones said the program is fine as long as it works. He said the red-light camera on Colorado Avenue "is not even working."
"To the extent that the signs help, we have seen some improvement, but without officers present, it won't last," Mr. Jones said. "That's why we need the cameras."

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