Traffic Control Cameras Coming to Capitol East’s 17th Street Speedway?


Traffic Control Cameras Coming to Capitol East’s 17th Street Speedway? – MPD Gears Up For New Year With $1M in New Photo Traffic Enforcement Equipment

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B’s Transportation Committee, Chaired by Kirsten Oldenburg, has approved a recommendation from ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven that the full ANC6B urge MPD to deploy new mobile-enhanced photo enforcement equipment to address speeding on 17th Street, SE.  The recommendation would come in the form of a letter from the ANC to MPD’s Photo Enforcement Program.  The full ANC will take up the matter at its November meeting at Hill Center next Tuesday night, at 7:00pm. 

Speeding on 17th Street, SE, is a long standing problem.  The street is heavily trafficked by commuters travelling from East Capitol to Barney Circle, SE, to connect with the Southeast/Southwest Freeway.  Only two stoplights – at Massachusetts Avenue, SE, and Potomac Avenue, SE – slow them down.  Speeding up to make the light at Potomac Avenue has resulted in a number of major accidents.  At Flahaven’s request, MPD surveyed traffic on 17th Street, and agrees a problem exists. 

A letter to the Photo Enforcement Program encourages deployment of speed monitoring cameras at the following 17th Street intersections: 

Massachusetts Avenue, SE;

Potomac Avenue, SE;

Barney Circle, SE;

Independence Avenue, SE.

MPD is working to finalize procurement of the new mobile-enhanced photo enforcement equipment, which will include the following: 

Portable cameras capturing intersection violations (speeding, red light running)

Portable cameras capturing stop sign violations

Portable cameras capturing crosswalk violations at un-signalized intersections

Laser-based speed enforcement equipment for tunnels and hills

Overweight commercial vehicle and truck detection equipment

Since the expenditure for this new equipment will exceed $1 million, the DC City Council must approve before a contract can be signed.  According to Flahaven, Councilmember Wells believes this is a straightforward request which should get easy approval.  Flahaven said, “While MPD can give no assurances, they think 17th Street is a prime candidate for the new equipment.”  Their goal is to deploy the new equipment early in 2012.

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