Community Post

New Red Light Cameras Coming Online

Red light runners beware: The city has installed two new ticket-taking red light cameras at the borders of the neighborhood.

One, which is already active, is on James St. at 9th. 

The other is at 23rd E & E. John and will go into service by the end of the month.

And CHS had a good question: does someone get a ticket every time there’s a flash from the camera?  According to SPD’s Renee Witt, no.  The cameras have automated test and calibration sequences that can cause a flash even when there’s no infraction.

It also looks like the pole at 23rd & John has a video camera mounted to it.  Maybe it will be added to the statewide list of traffic cameras, thus multiplying our options for neighborhood news gathering…

0 thoughts on “New Red Light Cameras Coming Online

  1. I’ve been looking at this thing forever. Are you sure it’s a red light camera? There is only one of them (not the usual 4-way), it’s a much smaller box than the usual self-contained setup, and there is no signage. Has the city mentioned anything about it yet?

  2. We confirmed it with SPD. Many of the monitored intersections do less than all 4 directions, but this is the only one i’ve seen that only does one. You can expect signs to go up before the system is activated later in the month.

  3. There is one at Massachusetts and Rainier. The flashing light has surprised me on a number of occasions – not a good thing while driving IMO.

  4. Despite what the city will tell you, red light cameras are a revenue generator for the city, period. The safety benefits of these cameras is questionable at best. A cursory search will reveal quite a bit of information about the controversial nature of these cameras. In my own research, I found that one major metropolitan city (Houston? I don’t recall offhand which one) that had installed these cameras did so with a blatant conflict of interest with the provider. In this case, the provider and operator of the cameras was entitled to a cut of the revenue generated. So much for no profit motive. I have yet to be able to discover the nature of the contract under which the City of Seattle is operating, or even who they’ve chosen as a provider. This information has been omitted from any coverage or press releases I’ve seen on the subject.

    In fact, a while back while I was serving on the City of Seattle Citizens’ Telephony and Technology Advisory Board, I attempted to raise this issue with the board, as it clearly falls under their charter. I was soundly rebuffed by the city representative, Jill Novik of the Seattle Department of Information Technology. I don’t mean to imply any conspiracy here or complicity on her part, but it was pretty clear to me that the city is not really interested in talking about the subject.