Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DC, Brentwood Camera Sites Under Scrutiny

The Washington Post reports that a single speed camera has brought in $8.1million in only seven months.  The camera, located in a tunnel on K street at Washington Circle, has issued over 61,000 tickets enforcing the 25mph speed limit at this location.  The ten most profitable cameras in the city have brought in a combined $29.5million worth of tickets during the seven month period.  This puts the city's speed camera program, which is entirely about safety and not about revenue, on track for yet another record breaking year.

Meanwhile, WJLA and the Gazette have reported that some locals are objecting to a 'shameless' speed camera trap in the town of Brentwood.  Motorists have complained that the speed limit on 34th street in one direction is 25mph, but Brentwood has deployed a speed camera on the road traveling the opposite direction which is posted as 15mph.  Motorists complained that the sign was actually posted next to flashers and stated "Speed Limit 15 *when flashing*" implying to some motorists that the speed limit was 25mph at other times. 

A document posted on the Mount Rainier website in 2010 stated the following :"The Town of Brentwood has changed the posted speed limit on westbound 34th Street from 25 MPH down to 15 MPH. Brentwood's Chief of Police has informed me that the Town intends to install a speed camera just west of Upshur Street to enforce this new 15 MPH speed limit.  Brentwood’s action does not affect the speed limit on eastbound 34th Street in Mount Rainier - it remains 25 MPH."

We originally wrote back in 2010 how speed limit signs at another location in Brentwood on Rhode Island Avenue had been altered in 2010 prior to the town's deployment of speed cameras in that location.  According to documents we obtained from the SHA a reduced speed limit zone had been expanded and a newly minted school zone created at that site.  That camera location has since been removed after the school it was designated for was relocated elsewhere.

Brentwood has been obstructing two Maryland Public Information Act requests filed by the editor of this website for records pertaining to changes to speed limits and to alleged errors by the town's speed camera program.  Despite NUMEROUS attempts to obtain the records over more than two years, as of this date we have yet to receive one single public record from the Town of Brentwood responsive to our requests.  State law requires local governments to respond to Maryland Public Information Act requests within 30 days of receipt, something which the Town of Brentwood did not do.