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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Going to Happen to the Money from School Zone Tickets?

The Stranger follows up on this question with some answers (but still with question marks):

As you may have noticed, the city began using automated cameras to enforce speed limits near four schools in December of 2012, and they're going to expand the program to install cameras near five more schools next year. By June, the city had issued 30,400 tickets at $189 a pop. While initially estimated to bring in some $800,000 in revenue for the year, they're now expecting closer to $5 million.
Five million? Wow, wouldn't that fund crossing guards (the City used to pay and stopped several years back)?
This morning, the council's government performance and finance committee approved a bill that would create a separate fund for those traffic-camera dollars, so that how, when, and on what the money is spent would be more carefully restricted. There's been talk of simply making sure whatever amount is raised from traffic-camera tickets would then be budgeted toward school-zone safety improvements over the year—it's a bureaucratic headache to deal with specialized separate funds—but this committee, at least, wants to take the extra step and segregate the money, starting in January 2014. The full council will likely vote Monday.

8 comments:

joanna said...

Crossing guards not only to ensure the student's safety in crossing streets, but also as important sources of education for pedestrian safety. They are important especially as the District moves toward more students walking to school.

joanna said...

Crossing guards are important to ensure students' safety in crossing streets, and also act as important sources of pedestrian safety education. They are important especially as the District moves toward more students walking to school.

Anonymous said...

How about spending some of that on sidewalks? Kids walk to Nathan Hale everyday on a network of streets with no sidewalks. I am sure the same is true at some other north end schools.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good thought, HP.

joanna said...

I think Kate Martin's points during her campaign regarding getting those sidewalks is something to be considered. Too bad she is not running for City Council.

biliruben said...

Sidewalks, greenways, cycletracks, improved crossings, and crossing guards. All this should be on the table. Often the communities with the least involvement need the infrastructure the most, so I don't propose matching grants or anything like that. A professional examination of the needs should dictate where the money goes, not the squeakiest wheel.

Or just direct it straight to a local "Safe Routes to school" program.

Not sure you allow links.

http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/07/16/washingtons-safe-routes-to-school-projects-brought-collisions-to-zero-program-remains-underfunded/

Anonymous said...

You cannot just do sidewalks without significant number of the residents of that area signing on for some added taxing (LID for instance) or another funding source. On this issue, Kate has done her homework. It does not work well to do it piecemeal. As a whole neighborhood/street needs to have a drainage and connectivity plan.

biliruben said...

Uh, this could BE the other funding source. That's the point.

Largely, the places that need sidewalks are also places where the residents would be hard pressed to pay for them themselves, with either an assessment or an additional tax.