News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Yikes! School-zone speed cameras could rake in $2-4 million a year?

November 29th, 2012 by Mike

They won’t issue you a real speeding ticket. Yet.

Although the warning-only grace  period for the new school-zone speed cameras, including the one at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St., was to expire this Monday, the cameras appear to have some glitches – they have “caught” almost 6,000 speeders in less than a month, according to our news partners The Seattle Times.

“We were surprised,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn told the Times.  At this past month’s rate, the fines could total $2-4 million annually, the mayor said.

Because there were so many speeders, the warning-citation period that was to end this week has been extended to Monday, Dec. 10, he said. From that day on, the registered owners of vehicles caught driving faster than 20 mph in those school zones while beacons are flashing will receive a $189 ticket in the mail.

The experimental cameras are set up at the flashing-light zones outside city schools as part of a pilot program, to see if speeding falls off. There are four cameras, including the one outside Olympic View on Fifth Avenue Northeast between approximately 94th and 96th streets.

That camera definitely had setup problems: In an earlier post on it Kristin commented:

Actually living next to one of these cameras is pure hell…it went on last night and it was like living in a photographer’s studio all night – flashes constantly. It made it impossible to watch television or even to sleep. I call DOT this morning to complain as they are being set off by almost every car going by – even outside of school hours.

That’s since been fixed. From the Times:

Seattle police say the cameras are recording all day, but drivers will be ticketed for speeding only when the school-zone beacons are flashing — times when children are most likely to be walking to and from school. Like red-light cameras at some intersections, the camera shoots a picture of the license plate.

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$189 school zone speeding tickets hit the mail later this month

November 13th, 2012 by Mike

We had a slew of comments last month when the city turned on school zone speeding cameras outside Olympic View Elementary School.

So far only warning tickets have been sent.

But today our news partner The Seattle Times is reporting that real tickets will begin Monday, Nov. 26. To the tune of $189 a pop.

Starting Monday, Nov. 26, $189 tickets will be automatically mailed to registered owners of vehicles caught speeding past cameras installed in four Seattle school zones. Those zones are near Broadview-Thomson K-8 School, Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Olympic View Elementary and Gatewood Elementary.

The local cameras are on Fifth Avenue Northeast, just west of the school at 504 N.E. 95th St. The city says they will only photograph speeders’ license plates when warning lights are flashing.

Read the full Times story here.

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Slow down! Speed cameras turned on Fifth Ave. N.E.

October 25th, 2012 by Mike

Speed cameras on Fifth Avenue Northeast alongside Olympic View Elementary School were installed earlier this week and are now operational.

We reported on them this summer. The city says speeding on Fifth by the school, 504 N.E. 95th St., is among the fifth worst in Seattle school zones.

The  units are like the automatic red light cameras, but focused on speeders. Those caught speeding will receive citations in the mail.

They are on Fifth at approximately Northeast 94th and 96th streets.

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Electronic speed cop now posted on Maple Leaf detour, and a report from the street.

May 25th, 2010 by Mike

An electronic speed sign appeared on Northeast 104th Street Tuesday afternoon, another attempt to convince motorists dodging the 15th Avenue Northeast bridge closure to slow down.

Just before rush hour Tuesday afternoon, many motorists appeared to be observing the 25 mph limit (although, in truth, 25 mph would feel very fast on this quiet residential street).

We’ve had a host of comments on traffic cutting through 104th and 103rd streets to avoid the closed bridge. Here’s a report from the field from Susan:

I live on 104th, a few houses in from the bridge. The first few days were very bad (from normally 2 or 3 to over 20 cars every 5 minutes around 6pm), as all traffic normally crossing the bridge was turning onto 104th. And some cars looked like they were ready to run into the barriers–totally oblivious to the road closure signs!

But by the end of the week there was a significant decrease in the number of cars turning onto 104th. So our complaints & the city’s response to add additional signs & increase the visibility of the signs posted on 15th about the bridge closure has helped. [Read more →]

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