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.