[Summit] Fw: Enhanced Speed Limit Enforcement

Christopher Buecheler cwbuecheler at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 12:56:37 CST 2018


On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 1:27 PM, Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur <
mmlarthur at gmail.com> wrote:

> These cameras are designed to raise revenue, not change behavior. If they
> were designed to change behavior they would be much more visible, with
> signage clearly reminding people what time of day school zones are in
> effect and what the speed limit is. No such signage is clearly visible in
> several places in the city with cameras, including Mount Pleasant Ave,
> where I drive routinely. If the city actually wanted to change behavior, it
> would do what it did in our neighborhood to calm traffic, like making bump
> outs and narrowing streets. There is clear evidence that on wide, straight
> streets like North Main and Mount Pleasant, our brain subconsciously
> registers the safe speed as faster than it does on crowded streets with
> bumpouts, like the ones in our neighborhood. I might find traffic calming
> annoying, but I know it works. As someone who drives on Mount Pleasant and
> knows tons of people who have gotten tickets already, I find it impossible
> to drive 20 miles an hour on the dark, deserted street at 6:30 pm because
> the visible signals are all wrong and there is no obvious reminder of the
> nearly invisible camera (some research has found speed cameras have a very
> large short-term effect on driver behavior but that this effect declines
> markedly over time, especially if drivers are not reminded of its
> presence).  If you'd like to learn more about how streetscapes and such
> affect the way we drive, I recommend Tom Vanderbilt's fascinating book *Traffic
> *(http://tomvanderbilt.com/books/traffic/).
> There are other more philosophical problems, such as the surveillance
> issue discussed above--I'd really prefer the city not to know where I am at
> all times. And the fines for speeding cameras are set at such a level as to
> make their payment impossible for some members of our community. Were we to
> adopt the Scandinavian model of day fines (https://www.theatlantic.com/
> business/archive/2015/03/finland-home-of-the-103000-
> speeding-ticket/387484/) so that the poor would be charged what they
> could afford and the wealthy still had to care about the impact of the
> fine, I'd be much more on board.
> But most significantly, I do not believe in using fines and fees to raise
> revenue. If you want to punish people, or you have real evidence that
> deterrence works, that's one thing. But the city should be funded by fair,
> equitable taxation. We should not depend on expropriating money from people
> who did things wrong or who need city services to balance our budget. That
> is unjust and unsustainable.
> --
> Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur
> mmlarthur at gmail.com
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> SNA Website: http://sna.providence.ri.us/

-Christopher Buecheler - @cwbuecheler
-http://cwbuecheler.com | Web, Writing, Cocktails and More
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