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Traffic cameras will be in Youngstown school zones by fall



Published: Thu, June 20, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

City council has agreed to place traffic cameras in school zones, but some of the lawmakers say they could be placed elsewhere in the future.

Council voted 7-0 Wednesday to establish laws on the cameras. About 10 will be installed in school areas this summer and be used around the start of the fall semester, primarily to catch those speeding when students come to and leave school buildings.

The ordinance, however, doesn’t restrict the devices from being used elsewhere. There are no immediate plans to move them to other locations, but that could happen at some point, some of the lawmakers said.

“I’m pleased they will be in school zones, but we can expand it in the future if we want,” said Councilman Nate Pinkard, D-3rd, safety committee chairman and retired Mill Creek Park Police Department chief.

But Councilwoman Annie Gillam, D-1st, safety-committee chairwoman, said if a decision is made to place them anywhere else, she’ll “be out there with petitions to make sure they don’t go further than school zones.”

Councilman John R. Swierz, D-7th, a safety-committee member who’s pushed for the cameras for nearly four years, said council doesn’t plan to expand beyond school zones, but added: “As we go through this process, we may have an area with a high rate of traffic accidents” where the cameras can be used for safety reasons.

Council members started talking about cameras in school zones in 2009, and finally selected Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix in January as the company to install them. The service is free, with Redflex keeping about 30 percent of the money collected.

The law carries stiff fines — $100 for driving up to 13 mph over the speed limit in school zones, $125 for driving 14 to 19 mph over the limit, and $150 for going 20 mph over the limit. Also, nonspeed-based violations are $100. If a fine isn’t paid in 30 days, $20 is added. It goes to $40 if unpaid after 60 days, and to $60 after 90 days.

Those caught on the camera — which will be turned on only when students are heading to school and leaving when the school day is done — would be charged with civil violations so it won’t impact their driver’s license or registration.

Also Wednesday, council approved a resolution allowing owners of the downtown Wick Building, vacant for about eight years, to receive a $770,000 state loan. Council’s approval was needed for the NYO Property Group, which owns the structure at 34 W. Federal St., as well as other downtown buildings, to receive the loan.

NYO plans to spend $16.5 million to convert the 103-year-old building into a 52-unit rental and extended-stay living facility. Inside demolition work must begin by Aug. 1 for NYO to keep $3,667,500 in federal and state tax credits for the project. The company plans to get started next month.


Comments

1Knightcap(682 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Just another reason not to go to Youngstown. If You're looking for extra revenue why not cut the council positions in half.

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2rayvindi(4 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Just a matter of time before more cameras appear at "dangerous" intersections. This is all about vacuuming out our pockets. I don't recall any epidemic of speeders threatening students in school zones. $25,000 a year, full medical, with sick days, vacation and pension for a job requiring only one meeting every other week?!!!! Excuse me, a committee meeting on the off week where revenue schemes are hatched. This is what council members (school board members too) learn when they travel to Vegas and other prime vacation spots, at our expense, "working hard" to glean new ideas to improve the city which are then consigned (if brought back, at all) to the shelves in City Hall containing millions of dollars of useless "studies" done by every vulture who has landed here to help strip the corpse of Youngstown. For those of us who live in the city, we are getting "fracked" in many different ways. PINKARD, pave Fifth Ave! Our city's premier street along with half of those in Youngstown are a disgrace--like council itself. Time for petitions, indeed; it's way past time to downsize city government starting with council.

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3sterlingone(1 comment)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm in sales and travel throughout Youngstown and the surrounding areas daily. I have stated for years. The drivers in Youngstown are the biggest offenders for not respecting the posted school zone speed limits. Just sit on Market street any school day by the old South High School during school hours. Williams ave is the same way. Drivers ignore the school limits. I understand most people are late for work everyday and then are in a hurry to get home everyday. Drive through Canfield, Boardman, Poland, or most of the neighboring areas and the school zone limits are observed. Why don't most of the drivers going throug the Youngstown zones don't care about these kids?

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4gdog4766(1402 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

If you simply obey the traffic laws this would be a no brainier. I too drive in Youngstown a lot and its people basically ignore traffic laws. They are worse then even the suburban soccer moms who just drive thru the red lights on 224 in their minivans. I have seen school busses stopped lights flashing and cars not even slowing down as they go around them. Obey the laws and you have nothing to worry about.

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5papa1(639 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

if you speed through school zones you should be caught and fined.

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6JoeFromHubbard(976 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Not only do drivers in Youngstown have to deal with unnecessary and uncoordinated stop lights, they'll now face an additional impediment to travel through the city because of cameras.

It's no wonder that drivers often "roll" through stops signs and employ other techniques to minimize the frustration of traversing the main thoroughfares of Youngstown.

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7RobX(59 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Oh, you poor speeders! Having to actually lift your foot off your accelerator, just because school kids are around! Having to actually OBEY state traffic laws! You poor, poor darlings. Will this mean you'll be late getting to your donut and TV?

Seriously, what is it about so many people in cars, that they can't stand ANY little delay? Why do they demand so many privileges? If driving frustrates you so much, get out and walk. Get rid of some of that butt fat.

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8bgreene(131 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

City Leaders:

Apply for federal grant money to purchase drones for aerial patrols and surveillance.
Then you can hire your relatives into that department so that they, too can collect big paychecks and benefits for sitting on their butts and playing with a joystick.

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