- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2007

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty yesterday listed roughly 200 priorities for his administration to accomplish in its first 100 days and beyond, including the addition of parking-enforcement cameras on city streets, expanding health care coverage and appointing a permanent fire chief.

“We’re trying to make sure that starting off this administration, that we do so with a foot speed that hopefully this city has never seen,” said Mr. Fenty, a Democrat.

One of the goals is to institute within one year photo ticketing by city street sweepers.

William O. Howland Jr., director of the D.C. Department of Public Works who brought the idea to the Fenty administration, said Chicago is the only other major U.S. city considering such a tactic.

“I cannot ticket all the cars that are in violation,” he said. “I just don’t have the staff to do that. It occurred to me that maybe if we had a camera on the street sweepers themselves, maybe we could do a better job.”

The District already uses cameras to monitor traffic violations. The Metropolitan Police Department has 10 speed-enforcement cameras at fixed locations and 12 camera-equipped vehicles rotating through nearly 80 enforcement zones. The city also has 49 red-light cameras.

Under the new plan, street-sweeper operators would use mounted cameras to photograph vehicles parked illegally in street-sweeping lanes. A citation would be mailed to the violator’s address.

The public works agency enforces street-sweeping restrictions. Last year, the agency issued more than 58,000 tickets for the violations, which carry a $30 fine.

“What we would like to do is make sure we better manage those rights of way, better manage those resources,” City Administrator Dan Tangherlini said. “Everyone who parks a car in a street-sweeper zone is actually denying services to someone else and limiting our ability to deliver high-quality services.”

Mr. Howland said street-sweeping vehicles would be outfitted with two types of cameras: a license-plate recognition camera that would transmit information back to the agency’s database and another that would give a wider view of where the car in violation was parked.

Operators would only have to flip a switch for a photo to be taken so that they can concentrate on cleaning streets, Mr. Howland said. Officials tested the cameras on one street-sweeping vehicle last month.

“We’re still a few months away from implementing” the program, Mr. Howland said.

Mr. Fenty, 36, has already announced two other major initiatives in his first 10 days in office: a proposal to place the District’s struggling public school system under his control and an effort to boost community policing in D.C. neighborhoods.

The mayor’s plans also include appointing a permanent fire chief; adding adult dental coverage to the Medicaid benefits package; expanding health care coverage to children of low-income families and elevating the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration to a Cabinet-level agency.

He also hopes to add four ambulances to the District’s fleet to help improve emergency-response times.

The draft of ideas did not include the possibility of separating the D.C. fire department from the city’s emergency medical services — a move Mr. Fenty touted during his mayoral campaign but has since hedged on making.

The list also makes no notable mention of D.C. voting rights or statehood, which Mr. Fenty has pledged to work tirelessly toward and yesterday said is still a top priority.

Fenty spokeswoman Mafara Hobson said both issues were inadvertently omitted and would be included in some form in an updated draft.

Mr. Tangherlini said most of the plans in Mr. Fenty’s list will not require funding, but those that do could be structured into the fiscal 2008 budget.

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