Columbus is host to the National Hockey League All Star game this week-end. The NHL showcase will bring thousands fans and visitors to the city as well as international media attention.
The first red light cameras in Columbus begin operating March 7th at two of the city’s most accident prone intersections. The cameras will record the license plates of drivers who enter the intersections after the traffic signal has turned red. City officials say the cameras will reduce injuries and fatalities. Critics believe they’re an easy way for government to pump up revenue.
As contract talks between Columbus bus drivers and COTA drag on, the future of a light rail project is more uncertain. Supporters of the proposed half-billion dollar northern corridor project believe it could help ease the city’s transportation problems. Critics say buses are far more efficient and flexible. Add to the mix COTA’s ongoing financial problems and a lack of public support – in the form of tax money – and it seems the light rail project has been derailed.
The Columbus City Council is expected to make a decision tonight on whether cameras will be installed at 17 intersections around Columbus. If approved, motorists who run red lights will soon have to pay for it.
At least 5 Ohio cities including Columbus are considering installing red light cameras at intersections prone to red light violations. But a State Representative from Cincinnati introduced legislation today that would ban the use of cameras for enforcement.
More than 100 cities nationwide have red light camera systems to catch people in the act of running a red. The Columbus Division of Police plans to position cameras at twenty intersections around the city as early as this summer. They say the goal is to cut down on accidents, but some say the plan smacks of big brother.
The Columbus police department is considering using cameras to catch drivers who run red lights. If a driver runs a red light, cameras would snap a picture of the car and its license plate. The police department would send the driver a ticket.
As part of the plan to bring light rail service to Columbus, the Central Ohio Transit Authority wants to divert much of the freight train traffic that flows through the city. To do that, COTA proposes moving a rail yard now just west of Columbus, north to Marysville.