“The number of violations has decreased,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Ed Chance. “It appears the reduction of red light runners is down 20 percent.”
Chance said that prior to the cameras’ installation, drivers ran red lights at the two intersections 14-15 percent of the time.
In addition to making the roads more safe, Chance said the cameras were also intended to improve traffic flow.
“(Before) the first camera was installed, south bound on Woodloch (Forest) going east on Woodlands Parkway, people would run that light so bad they would delay the westbound green eight or nine seconds,” Chance said.
“I think they’re an absolutely necessary tool that’s cost effective versus having an officer issuing citations,” Chance said.
That’s a point I don’t think I’ve seen made before. I’d say in my experience in certain locations, mostly on the West Loop, there’d always be a car or two blowing through the red light, often from the left turn lane, which would necessarily make the vehicles that just got the green light have to wait. In the end, I’d say it all balanced out, since the traffic that direction would end up doing the same thing, and the cycle would perpetuate. Not optimal, of course, and more dangerous, but it’s hard to say there was a net gain or loss one way or the other.
Chance said that eight other intersections have had traffic studies conducted on them this past year, and a committee is expected to meet this week to discuss possible future locations for new cameras. All of the intersections under consideration are along Woodlands Parkway, Lake Woodlands Drive and Research Forest Drive.
The determination of where to install additional cameras will be made based on engineering studies of the intersections, accident reports, traffic counts and physical observations at each, Chance said.
Those of you who live or work in the area, you have been notified.