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If you're skeptical about Chicago's traffic control policies, you ought to read the story in today's Tribune about the controversy over cameras at red lights out in Schaumburg -- it'll give you some perspective.
When the Schaumburg officials decided to install cameras, they claimed they were doing so in order to cut down on traffic accidents by forcing motorists to obey the law. But when they picked a site for the first set of cameras, they chose an intersection where there were lots of traffic violations but not a whole lot of accidents.
As you might imagine, the traffic-violation cash flowed in, as the cameras caught lots of motorists turning right on red without coming to a full stop. Angry motorists accused officials of misleading the public, forcing Schaumburg's leaders to back down and remove the cameras.
Imagine that! I can't think of anything short of armed insurrection (or at least a court order) that would force Mayor Daley to reverse his stand on, say, the parking meter lease deal.
Anyway, I'm sort of sympathetic to Schaumburg's officials on this one. As I read it, the motorists are pissed off because the cameras are making them follow a law they don't want to follow. But instead of coming right out and saying "We don't want to have to come to a complete stop before turning right on red," they've come up with mumbo jumbo about being misled.
They're doing the same thing Schaumburgs officials are -- covering up their real motivations with a flimsy facade.
Schaumburgians better stay away from Chicago. I can't remember the last time officials around here ever gave their real reason for doing what they do.