The map the city of Chicago is sending out with its “request for proposals” shows just how extensive coverage by cameras designed to catch speeders around parks and schools could be — if the city ever exercises all its options.
Not to worry, city officials say: Aldermen mandated that cameras go up in only 50 to 300 locations for now.
“By ordinance, we are limited to placing these cameras in only 20 percent of the 1,500 possible Children’s Safety Zones — that’s only 300 camera [sites] citywide,” said Pete Scales, spokesman for the city’s Department of Transportation. “We expect to only have about 50 of those up and running next year.”
Plenty of connected companies are getting ready to bid on the contract to install the cameras. Mayoral allies Greg Goldner and Mike Kasper have ties to one of the firms.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has agreed to several limitations to meet the concerns of aldermen who feared this was all about making money; that cameras would be too concentrated in certain neighborhoods, or would be too pervasive. They are meant to cover territories within one-eighth of a mile around parks and schools.