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Speed cams make ‘Faster Ave.’ a little slower

Updated: November 18, 2013 7:40AM

On a stretch of Foster Avenue on the Northwest Side that some residents have nicknamed “Faster Avenue,” motorists appeared to get the message Wednesday morning that they need to slow down.

Most drivers heading east on Foster toward Pulaski were below the posted 30 mph limit — on the first day motorists can receive tickets and fines as part of the city’s controversial new speed camera program.

“We’re giving people every possible opportunity to know they are breaking the law and change their behavior before they hit a camera,” said city Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, speaking to reporters on Foster near Gompers Park.

Before motorists reach the speed camera west of Foster and Pulaski, there are signs that say “radar enforced” and one that flashes the driver’s speed. Most motorists were at or near the 30 mph limit Wednesday morning, although a Chicago Sun-Times reporter saw the occasional motorist hitting 40 mph.

That’s just what the city was hoping for during a 40-day period when the cameras were churning out warning notices, First Deputy Transportation Commissioner Scott Kubly has said.

Kubly has noted that the number of speeders dropped by 50 percent in just two weeks after warning notices started arriving in drivers’ mailboxes. And even speeders caught Wednesday will still catch a break: The first ticket issued to each motorist will be a freebie.

The speed cameras around Gompers Park are the first to start issuing tickets. Ticketing is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 21 at McKinley, Marquette and Garfield parks.

Contributing: Fran Spielman


Twitter: @stefanoesposito

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