Oakbrook Terrace moves closer to red-light cameras
Tracy Mulqueen, president and CEO of the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce, speaks out Spet. 11 against the installation of red light cameras at Route 83 and 22nd Street in Oakbrook Terrace. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Route 83/22nd Street accidents since Jan. 1, 2010
On southbound Route 83: 83
On eastbound 22nd Street: 42
On westbound 22nd Street: 18
On northbound Route 83: 13
Updated: October 21, 2012 1:13PM
OAKBROOK TERRACE — The City Council took a big step Tuesday toward having red-light cameras installed at Route 83 and 22nd Street.
However, two additional factors must continue to support the move before it would become reality, likely no sooner than a year from now.
The City Council unanimously approved a contract with SafeSpeed, LLC, a Chicago company that handles the installation and maintenance of red-light cameras.
The plan includes cameras at the Route 83/22nd Street intersection for southbound traffic on Route 83 and for eastbound traffic on 22nd Street. Those two traffic patterns have experienced the greatest number of intersection accidents since the beginning of 2010, Police Chief Wayne Holakovsky said.
Any actual installation of the red-light cameras needs approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation, which requires evidence of a safety-related need before giving an OK. Nikki Zollar, SafeSpeed’s president and chief executive officer said her company would do a traffic study as the next step in the process. It could determine cameras are not necessary.
“That is possible, but at this point we believe the cameras will make it safer there,” Zollar said. “If our traffic study supports the need for the red-light cameras, we’ll submit the information we have to IDOT and meet with them.”
Zollar said IDOT generally wants a three-year period to pass before considering red-light cameras at an intersection at which improvements have been made. Improvements were completed less than three years ago on 22nd Street, but not on Route 83, and exceptions sometimes are made for the desired three-year period, said Chris Lai of SafeSpeed.
Ragucci listened to pleas to not pursue the red-light cameras from representatives of the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and the village of Oak Brook, before speaking out strongly in favor of the action.
“Oakbrook Terrace has been studying this for five years, and it’s for safety,” he said. “In my opinion, this intersection warrants red-light cameras.”
Alderman Ingrid Durham, Ward 1, agreed.
““Since 2008, we’ve been in the black. We don’t need the money; this is not a financial issue,” she said.
Tracy Mulqueen, president and chief executive officer of the Grreater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce, said cameras would have a negative impact on businesses in the area. She also offered opinions of some who claim the cameras don’t enhance safety.