Police to continue traffic enforcements

BY JENNIFER K. WOLDT • of The Northwestern • December 5, 2009

Radar guns have been out in full force along the city’s major roadways in recent months and they won’t be disappearing in the near future.

The Oshkosh Police Department has been conducting speed enforcement details on Jackson and Oregon streets, West Ninth Avenue and the Wisconsin Street Bridge since late summer.
While more than 800 citations have been issued in the last four months, officials said the department does not have any plans to stop the enforcements any time soon.
“This is going to be ongoing,” Oshkosh Police Chief Scott Greuel said. “Some details will be more intensive than others obviously, but we’re in this for the long term to try to change the mindset of the motoring public.”
Since beginning a speed enforcement on West Ninth Avenue in November, the Police Department has issued 69 citations for speeding during 110 traffic stops. Sixty-three speeding citations were issued between Oct. 19 and Dec. 2 during the enforcement period on the Wisconsin Street Bridge and an additional 38 speeding citations were issued on Waukau Avenue and Oregon Street between Sept. 25 and Nov. 6, said Officer Joe Nichols, spokesman for the department.
Police began stepped-up enforcement efforts on Jackson Street in August after officers held a meeting with neighborhood residents who were concerned about the speed vehicles were traveling at. Officers issued more than 600 citations during a month-long enforcement in August, the majority for drivers who were traveling 11 to 15 miles per hour faster than the posted 30 mile per hour speed limit.
The enforcement had the impact officers were hoping for, Sgt. Jeff Nelson said.
Officers and residents have seen drivers slow down when driving on Jackson Street.
After seeing the success on Jackson Street, the department added additional enforcement details on West Ninth Avenue, the Wisconsin Street Bridge and Oregon Street.
The new areas have characteristics similar to Jackson Street, Greuel said. They are all heavily traveled major roads, and they are also in residential areas with parks and schools nearby.
While the intent of the speed enforcements is to get drivers to slow down, Greuel said it’s also an effort to make the neighborhoods safer for residents.
“We’re trying to enhance safety so they all can coexist,” Greuel said.
Officers are not out on Jackson Street on a day-to-day basis anymore, and are instead running radar “more sporadically, ” Nelson said. He said auxiliary officers also run radar, collect license plate numbers of those people who are speeding and send drivers a letter in the mail. Officers have issued 41 speeding citations since the beginning of October.
“We want drivers to feel like there might be an officer there at any point in time,” Nelson said.
Jennifer K. Woldt: (920) 426-6676 or jwoldt@thenorthwestern.com.