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  1. #1
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    Default Scottsdale Prepares for Loop 101 Photo Radar; Expect Closure

    Scottsdale Prepares for Loop 101 Photo Radar; Expect Closures
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    Q/A about Loop 101 Radar

    (CBS 5 NEWS) - Thursday crews will begin putting up signs on Loop 101 warning drivers that it's time to start slowing down and to get ready for photo radar.

    Crews will need to close some parts of the loop 101 starting Thursday. All the work will take place between 9:00 p.m. Thursday and 5:00 a.m. Friday and construction should run through January 11th.

    Planned freeway lane closures and restrictions:

    * Thursday and Friday, Jan. 5-6, eastbound Loop 101 will be completely closed at Scottsdale Road. Eastbound traffic will be routed off the freeway at the Scottsdale exit ramp and will reenter the freeway via the eastbound entrance ramp.
    * Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6-7, westbound Loop 101 will be completely closed at Hayden Road. Westbound traffic will be routed off the freeway at the Hayden exit ramp and will reenter the freeway via the westbound entrance ramp.
    * Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 7-8, southbound Loop 101 will be completely closed at Raintree Road. Southbound traffic will be routed off the freeway at the Raintree exit ramp and will reenter the freeway via the southbound entrance ramp.
    * Sunday and Monday, Jan. 8-9, northbound lane restrictions will take place on the Loop 101 at Cactus Road. At least one northbound lane will remain open at all times. Southbound traffic will not be affected.
    * Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 9-10, northbound lane restrictions will take place on the Loop 101 at Shea Boulevard. At least one northbound lane will remain open at all times.
    * Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 10-11, southbound lane restrictions will take place on the Loop 101 at Shea Boulevard. At least one southbound lane will remain open at all times.

    So where are the cameras?


    Photo Enforcement - Focus On Safety


    Planned camera locations on the Loop 101

    Speed cameras are planned near the following interchanges (south to north). Exact locations are being determined:

    * Northbound and southbound Shea Boulevard
    * Northbound Cactus Road
    * Southbound Raintree Drive
    * Westbound Hayden Road
    * Eastbound Scottsdale Road

    Camera locations on city streets

    Fixed speed and red-light cameras are at the following locations on city streets. Four photo enforcement vans also are stationed at various locations, as needed.

    Northbound Scottsdale Road at Thomas Road Speed/red light
    Northbound Scottsdale Road at Cactus Road Speed/red light
    Southbound Hayden Road at Indian School Road Speed/red light
    Southbound Pima Road at Pinnacle Peak Road Speed/red light
    Northbound Hayden Road at McCormick Pkwy Speed/red light
    Northbound Scottsdale Road at FLW Blvd Speed/red light
    Southbound Scottsdale Road at Shea Blvd Speed/red light
    Eastbound Shea Blvd at 90TH St Speed/red light
    Eastbound & westbound Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd at 77th ST Speed only, mid-block



    Scottsdale Prepares for Loop 101 Photo Radar; Expect Closures

    (CBS 5 NEWS) - Thursday crews will begin putting up signs on Loop 101 warning drivers that it's time to start slowing down and to get ready for photo radar.

    Crews will need to close some parts of the loop 101 starting Thursday. All the work will take place between 9:00 p.m. Thursday and 5:00 a.m. Friday and construction should run through January 11th.

    Planned freeway lane closures and restrictions:

    * Thursday and Friday, Jan. 5-6, eastbound Loop 101 will be completely closed at Scottsdale Road. Eastbound traffic will be routed off the freeway at the Scottsdale exit ramp and will reenter the freeway via the eastbound entrance ramp.
    * Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6-7, westbound Loop 101 will be completely closed at Hayden Road. Westbound traffic will be routed off the freeway at the Hayden exit ramp and will reenter the freeway via the westbound entrance ramp.
    * Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 7-8, southbound Loop 101 will be completely closed at Raintree Road. Southbound traffic will be routed off the freeway at the Raintree exit ramp and will reenter the freeway via the southbound entrance ramp.
    * Sunday and Monday, Jan. 8-9, northbound lane restrictions will take place on the Loop 101 at Cactus Road. At least one northbound lane will remain open at all times. Southbound traffic will not be affected.
    * Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 9-10, northbound lane restrictions will take place on the Loop 101 at Shea Boulevard. At least one northbound lane will remain open at all times.
    * Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 10-11, southbound lane restrictions will take place on the Loop 101 at Shea Boulevard. At least one southbound lane will remain open at all times.

    So where are the cameras?


    Photo Enforcement 101

    Frequently Asked Questions



    Why is Scottsdale proposing speed cameras on the 101 freeway?


    Because Scottsdale citizens are concerned about speeds on the 101 and Scottsdale has used photo enforcement on its streets as a tool to lower speeds and reduce collisions. The city is proposing a nine-month demonstration to help determine whether photo enforcement works on freeways.



    Would photo enforcement take the place of officers?


    No. Scottsdale uses it to supplement the work of police officers on its streets. Since 1997, when Scottsdale began using photo radar, the city has increased the ratio of sworn officers per 1,000 citizens from 1.50 to 1.78. Photo enforcement is a tool to help officers, not a substitute.


    Why doesn't the city spend the money to put more officers on the freeway?


    That is not a choice. The money to run the program comes from citations. If there are no speed cameras, there are no revenues to pay for them. The city will have a small initial investment in public awareness, but expects the program to break even in four months. It won't use tax funds that the city uses for law enforcement or other purposes.



    Where would the cameras be located?


    They would be installed along a 7.8-mile section of the freeway just north of the Pima/90th Street exit to the Scottsdale Road exit. The city is proposing a total of six installations, three along each side.



    Is there a speeding problem along this section?


    The city has clocked vehicles traveling as fast as 127 miles per hour, and citizens complain about speeds. Scottsdale is concerned about collisions, which have increased from 209 in 2002 to 403 in 2004 on this portion of the freeway, according to the Maricopa Association of Governments.



    Will drivers be warned about photo enforcement along the freeway?


    Yes, signs will warn drivers about photo enforcement. The city also plans an intensive public education program, as well. For the first 30 days, drivers going 76 miles per hour or more (11 over the limit) will receive warnings in the mail, not citations.



    Where does the money collected from fines go?


    For a typical $157 photo enforcement citation, about $73 goes to the state in the form of surcharges to support the Criminal Justice Enhancement Fund and other designated state programs, and the City Court receives $10 for a fund used only for court operations enhancements. Redflex Traffic Systems, the city's photo enforcement contractor, receives $42.48 for each paid citation. The remaining $32 covers general operating costs for the program, including city rental payments to Redflex for the equipment and other police, prosecutor and court costs.



    Will drivers see photo radar vans along the freeway?


    No, the city has proposed fixed, pole-mounted cameras, similar to cameras now in use along the 7700 block of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard.



    How fast must a vehicle travel to set off a camera?


    76 miles per hour or faster - at least 11 miles per hour above the posted speed limit of 65.



    Will the flash of a photo enforcement camera cause collisions, especially at freeway speeds?


    Scottsdale has no evidence that flashes from the cameras have caused collisions, and the city has used the technology on its streets for eight years. Flashes are not cited as a problem in studies from other countries - like the United Kingdom and Australia -- where the technology is used on freeways.



    Will law enforcement officers stop patrolling the freeway during the demonstration project?


    No. They will continue their patrols.



    What's the schedule for the project?


    If the project is approved, the city will start a public information program right away. Cameras would be turned on in early 2006, and drivers going 76 mph or faster would receive warnings during the first 30 days. After that period, the city would start issuing citations.

    The program is planned to run nine months, but could be ended at any time the city chooses.


    Photo Enforcement: Focus On Safety
    Program History



    Scottsdale contracts with Redflex Traffic Systems for the operation of photo enforcement cameras at nine fixed sites on city streets, as well as four photo enforcement vans that can be stationed anywhere they are needed.


    Fixed Detection Systems

    Fixed locations are chosen by police and traffic engineering staff primarily based on traffic volume and collision history. These systems use sensors imbedded in the pavement to detect vehicle speeds and positions. Most fixed systems detect both speed and red-light violations. An installation on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard is the first fixed mid-block speed camera system in use in the city. Cameras planned for Loop 101 will be similar to this installation.


    Mobile Detection Systems

    The city currently contracts for four vans that must be deployed an average of 240 hours each per month. All vans are required to be deployed for two shifts each day, Monday through Saturday, from 6 a.m. until about 2 a.m. There are approximately 450 currently approved deployment locations within the city, including 40 school zones. The remaining sites are equally distributed between citizen complaint and high collision locations.


    Program History

    In 1995 the Scottsdale Police Department added a second, five-member squad of traffic enforcement officers in an attempt to reduce traffic collisions and make the city a safer place to live and visit.

    As a result of the increased enforcement efforts, almost 10,000 speeding citations were written in 1995. In spite of that 42 percent increase in enforcement over the 1994 level, collisions continued to rise.

    As 1995 drew to a close it was apparent to city decision-makers that traditional enforcement methods needed to be enhanced. Traffic collisions continued to rise and the idea of adding more police officers had proven to be ineffective and cost-prohibitive.

    Photo enforcement technology had the potential to significantly reduce traffic violations and collisions in the community, while placing associated costs for the initiative on the violator rather than the taxpayer.

    Research and data from cities utilizing the technology at that time demonstrated a clear relationship between the use of photo enforcement technology and the reduction of traffic collisions and hazardous driving violations.

    As a result, the City Council approved photo enforcement, and the city began implementation in 1997. Initially, the number of speed violations per hour of camera operation was over 17. In 1998 that number dropped to an hourly average of 9.1. Another positive result of the Focus On Safety program was the citywide decline in reported collisions. In 1996 the City recorded 4,680 collisions. In 1998 the City saw the collision numbers drop an average of 3.3% for 1997 and 1998.

    Long-term trends also have been significant. Between 1996 and 2003 the population of Scottsdale increased 25 percent, from 177,000 to 221,000 residents. During the same period of time, collisions decreased 3%, from 4,680 to 4,527.
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  2. #2
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    Default Loop 101 speed cameras roll

    Loop 101 speed cameras roll
    By Ryan Gabrielson, Tribune
    January 22, 2006
    Flash units have been switched on.
    The cameras’ focus and aperture have been set. And since 12:01 this morning, motorists driving 76 mph or faster on Loop 101 through Scottsdale have been captured in digital images.
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    By daybreak, a handful of people have likely had their pictures snapped by the city’s photo enforcement equipment, said Paul Porell, Scottsdale’s traffic engineering director. A written warning should be in the mail shortly.

    “We might have a few hits around 2:30 a.m.,” Porell said on Friday, referring to those leaving bars after last call at 2 a.m.

    Those motorists would be the first participants in Scottsdale’s experiment to determine if cameras can reduce speed on a freeway as safely and effectively as they do on surface streets.

    The test itself — using mounted cameras to digitally patrol a freeway — is the first of its kind in the United States, said Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration.

    It also has been a highly charged political issue. A few state lawmakers have repeatedly proposed legislation to outlaw use of photo enforcement equipment on Arizona freeways. While each attempt has failed, legislators have already drawn up plans to hinder Scottsdale’s test.

    Some residents have emerged as vocal critics of freeway cameras, arguing that it is inappropriate for the city to oversee enforcement on a state freeway. Opponents also contend that photo enforcement poses a safety risk to motorists driving at high rates of speed — as they have been on Loop 101 — if they slow too rapidly to avoid being caught and cause a major collision.

    The cameras have been photographing and flashing drivers since Thursday without incident as workers with Redflex Traffic Systems — a private firm working for the city — prepared the equipment.

    “No, we have not received any calls about having anybody slamming on their brakes because of the flash,” Porell said. “This myth will someday be put to bed.”

    Hawaii launched a similar trial on its freeways in 2001 but used radar and camera equipment placed in vans, which were moved around to target different sections, Hecox said. That program ended without any serious problems being reported, he said.

    “There’s a lot of these traffic planners that are watching this thing,” Hecox said of Scottsdale’s test.

    The trial is scheduled to run nine months with six cameras stationed on an eight-mile-stretch of Loop 101 between the Scottsdale Road and 90th Street exits. That area has been deemed a serious problem, with the highway patrol pulling over motorists driving as fast as 120 mph.

    Data collected by Scottsdale on Loop 101 shows that more than 50 percent of cars are moving faster than the speed limit on weekdays, except during the morning and afternoon rush hours, said Simon Washington, an Arizona State University traffic engineering professor.

    “The potential for giving tickets is very high,” Washington said.

    But no citations are to be issued until Feb. 22, Porell said, giving motorists time to adjust to the new speed enforcement before facing a $157 fine.

    The city has formed an evaluation team and tapped Washington to lead it. He has already studied the effectiveness of redlight and speed cameras on surface streets in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

    As the test progresses, the evaluation team is expected to monitor the impact of the cameras on the flow and speed of traffic on that stretch of Loop 101, Washington said. The team also will have representatives from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Scottsdale and the Legislature.

    If successful, Scottsdale could serve as a model for lowering speed on freeways across the state and nation. Gov. Janet Napolitano has publicly supported the test.

    ADOT has worked closely with the city on the photo enforcement planning, but now the transportation department is no longer involved, said Doug Nintzel, spokesman for the agency.

    “I would describe us as very interested sideline spectators,” Nintzel said.

    While it is too early to gauge whether the cameras are influencing motorists, Washington said it is likely some have slowed just knowing cameras are there, as has happened on surface streets.

    “The whole idea, really, if it’s effective, is not to give tickets,” he said. “The idea is to get people to drive the speed limit.”
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