Watch your speed on Barton Avenue and South Crest Road in the coming weeks.
The City of Chattanooga is expanding its speed camera program onto those thoroughfares.
Just like the speed cameras installed last year at the S curves on Hixson Pike, these devices will snap photos of speeding motorists who will receive a citation in the mail, said John Van Winkle, the city’s traffic engineer. Fines are $50.
“We were getting complaints about speed, and we wanted to do something about that,” Mr. Van Winkle said. “In some cases, drivers were having difficulty getting out onto Barton from the side streets. When people come off the Veterans Memorial Bridge, they are going into a residential zone.”
A city study found that speeds on the road averaged in the mid-40 mph range, he said.
The Barton Avenue camera is located just outside the entrance to Girls Preparatory School.
“It sounds like (the cameras) could slow things down, and maybe I wouldn’t feel like I was going to be flattened into a pancake when I pull out of my driveway,” said Jennifer Crutchfield, who lives just outside the GPS entrance.
The South Crest camera has been installed just a few miles over the Georgia-Tennessee line in the first straight stretch of road.
Neighbors say the only thing that slows motorists down on winding South Crest is police presence. Without an officer on the roads, motorists book it at speeds that are sometimes in excess of 60 mph, they say.
“I don’t walk on the sidewalks in front of my home on South Crest because it’s too dangerous,” resident Linda Porter said. “I’m afraid of the cars. They come right up on the sidewalks ... they drive to recklessly. These curves demand respect.”
Mr. Van Winkle said the city’s speed cameras on the S Curves have been a success. Traffic accidents and speeding citations are down markedly from when the city installed the cameras in June 2007.
“Based on our studies, these two new cameras are justified,” Mr. Van Winkle said. “We put them where we see the risk is.”
The cameras will undergo testing before beginning a one-month warning phase. The city has not decided when the warning phase will begin, but it will be within the first few weeks of January, Mr. Van Winkle said.
Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...