Some Neighbors Wonder if Regester Ave. Camera Will Catch Drivers

The camera is one of several set to go online this week.

, a speed camera on Regester Avenue is finally installed and ready to go.

The exact placement of the camera, however, has some residents wondering how many drivers they'll catch.

The camera——is trained on westbound lanes of Regester near Banbury Road, just a few hundred feet from the intersection of Sherwood Road.

Juliet Fisher, a Stoneleigh parent, said that's well before many drivers coming off the intersection pick up speed on Regester. It is near an official crosswalk at Kenleigh Road, but Fisher said many Stoneleigh Elementary students and parents who cross at Regester actually cross at Copeleigh Road, a block away.

She said other parents were surprised to hear about the camera's location.

"The speed camera should be between Copeleigh and Kenleigh, because then it protects both," Fisher said. "I just don't understand who puts a speed camera next to a red light."

Though she said she appreciates getting the camera on Regester, "I want to make sure that if we're getting this, it helps as many kids as possible that are crossing," she said.

County law requires that the cameras be placed in school zones (within a half-mile of a school). Either location, according to online maps, would be within that requirement.

Cpl. Cathy Batton, a police spokeswoman, said the exact placement of cameras is decided by traffic data, neighbor complaints, traffic engineering requirements and existing infrastructure in the roadway.

"We also monitor the sites for their effectiveness for modifying drivers' behavior and making the area safe for children," Batton said, noting that the county could move the camera if need be.

"The important thing is for motorists to know that the camera is there," police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said.

Either way, Regester Avenue residents say, every little bit helps.

Amelle Schultz, a mother of two young boys in the 700 block of Regester, said it's "weird" that the camera isn't at the more popular crosswalk, but that a camera would at least be in force more often than the police officers who occasionally pull over speeders on her street.

"I've always thought that it was really odd that the speed limit was never enforced in the past," she said.

Outside his home in the 700 block of Regester, Kevin Browne points out a half-dozen vehicles he says are going above the 25 mph speed limit. The cameras will issue citations for those going more than 12 miles over the speed limit (the cameras will only issue warnings for the first 30 days after activation).

"I bet he's going more the speed limit," Browne said, pointing to an armored car. He recalled being followed by eight cars behind him while he was going "25 or less" on his way home down Regester. When he pulled into his driveway, another driver honked at him.

"I'd just like to see the speed controlled," he said, though "there are probably other areas of the county that could use (the camera) more."

JDStuts August 08, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Hee, hee, Engineering - Where 'Science' trumps Common Sense.
K Blue August 08, 2012 at 09:30 PM
"It is near an official crosswalk at Kenleigh Road, but Fisher said many Stoneleigh Elementary students and parents who cross at Regester actually cross at Copeleigh Road, a block away." Is the Copeleigh Road crossing an official crosswalk? If it is not, perhaps we should be asking why isn't it?
Juliet Fisher August 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM
As much as I love the idea of a camera on Regester, a camera half a block past a red light where the road is uphill and immediately past Sherwood Road where a good deal of the traffic turns onto Regester is simply a wasted opportunity. The cars turning, the cars who were just stopped at the red light, and the cars traveling uphill are not where the bulk of the speeding occurs. Westbound at this location is probably the spot with the least amount of speeding. Most children crossing Regester come from Anneslie which is east of the official crosswalk. The camera is to the west and most children who live to the west are bussed to Stoneleigh. The camera should be to the east of Keneleigh Road and on the south side of Regester to protect the kids who cross at Keneleigh and Copeleigh and to target the drivers who are coming downhill from York Road and pick up the most speed. I would love to see the data and traffic patterns that supports this ridiculous placement. Or perhaps, the powers that be should study the patterns of the children and the actual traffic patterns of the street. If they had asked the residents of this road, the placement could have really helped slow down traffic. I live closer to York Road and am watching the cars out of my window travel at 40 plus miles an hour on our narrow residential street. Hopefully, Chief Johnson can realize that he made an error in the placement of this camera and put it where it will actually do more good.
Juliet Fisher August 08, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Residents have been trying to get a crosswalk at Copeleigh for years unsuccessfully. Many families traveling from Anneslie cross at Copeleigh because it reduces the walk by at least 10 minutes.
K Blue August 08, 2012 at 11:07 PM
What reasons were given by the County against placing a crosswalk there?
Juliet Fisher August 08, 2012 at 11:09 PM
That the Kenleigh crosswalk is close. Although I think the crosswalk as a whole would be better placed for all the communities at Copeleigh since most of the people crossing for school come from the Anneslie neighborhood.
K Blue August 08, 2012 at 11:27 PM
I dont know for sure, but I cannot imagine that there is any restriction against having more than one crosswalk located on a given street. If the County believes that the conditions on that road are such that a speed camera is warranted, they should double-down on their efforts and create another official crosswalk. Crosswalks are visual cues to drivers, speeders and nonspeeders, to be on the lookout for pedestrians, young and old, and to be conscious of your speed and surroundings. Perhaps cost is an issue, but then again I cannot imagine painting a crosswalk would require much time, manpower or money, and it is permanent (unlike speed cameras).
Juliet Fisher August 08, 2012 at 11:35 PM
The county says that an "unmanned" crosswalk is more dangerous than nothing as it gives people a false sense of safety crossing. As our crossing guard on Regester at Keneleigh has said she fears for her life crossing kids on this street, I think that anything we can get can only help. More than anything I think that the county should do some traffic engineering ie speed humps to actually physically slow down traffic. Cars have been totaled on this street by cars traveling at close to 70 mph. The fact that cars are able to go this fast shows me that the street needs some serious attention. Unfortunately after years of trying, we were told a camera was our only options because of the narrowness of the road. I only wish that we could have a solution that actually would help slow people down.
Juliet Fisher August 08, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I don't believe that the "engineer" who selected this site used either science or common sense.
K Blue August 09, 2012 at 12:12 AM
There are unmanned crosswalks all over this County. If that is their reasoning, they best get busy painting over them.
Photoradarscam August 09, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Yes, let's leave it up to the politicians to decide how to make roads safer.
Paul Romney August 09, 2012 at 11:07 AM
At this location, most speeding is eastbound, committed by drivers trying to catch the green light at Sherwood. To stop westbound speeding, it would have made much more sense to situate the camera at Maplewood, where it would have a clear field of vision along the stretch from there to Copeleigh and Edgewood. I would love to see the detailed analysis that led to its being placed where it now is.
Paul Romney August 09, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Another thought: if the idea was to protect the crosswalk at Kenleigh, my guess is that the biggest danger at that point is posed by westbound speeders, who have had the time and distance to work up a good head of speed and cannot see the crosswalk because of the rise at Maplewood. The more I think about the present placement, the less I can make sense of it.


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