[Outside Small World Books on 425 North Street, summer 2016. Photo of David Kramer’s bicycle by David Kramer]
Michael makes a powerful case that eliminating the cameras will increase the likelihood of senseless deaths.
I personally am in favor of keeping the cameras. During the warm months, I enjoy cycling in the city. Nor am I hardly alone, as the bike groups Bike Writers and Conkey Cruisers can often be seen on the streets.
The city said the cameras reduced accidents and made some intersections safer — and hence more bike friendly. My observation is that the cameras lessened the number of drivers who slide through red lights or don’t come to a complete stop. Or drivers who stop in the crosswalk area used by bicycles and pedestrians. These driving behaviors make city biking dangerous and certainly less pleasant.
Alongside Michael’s letter, in response to Mary Anna Towler’s Lovely Warren’s right about red-light cameras, Eric Fairchild offered several alternative non-monetary punishments that could make the streets even safer: attending classes on driving safety, including red-light issues; community service; and assignments to stand with a crossing guard at school crossings.
But the city council simple eliminated a program that had successes without providing a satisfactory replacement.
This is short sighted. Every year more and more Rochestarians take to their bicycles during the summer months. Neighborhoods that do everything they can to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety reap the benefits: more people want to shop and live there.