Speeding away: Traffic cameras rerouting drivers

Speeding away: Traffic cameras rerouting drivers
By DONNA RYDER
Associate Editor
Union City has a speeding problem.
Police Chief Perry Bar-field told the Union City city council Tuesday night that people have started taking alternate routes away from the traffic cameras.
He addressed the issue after being asked by councilman Bill “Rat” Harrison about the increasing number of speeding tickets being issued in the city. The chief provides the council with a report of activity by the department.
Barfield said his officers are concentrating on areas where the traffic flow has diverted.
“People are still speeding. It is a problem,” he said.
Harrison said he was not aware it was such a big problem, to which Mayor Terry Hailey replied, “If you were in Pleasant Valley, you would know.”
Barfield told The Mess-enger 426 speeding tickets were issued by officers between Jan. 1 and April 30, while 1,534 speeding tickets were issued as the result of the red light traffic cameras and mobile units during the same period.
He said the officers are getting out more and the use of the traffic cameras has allowed them to concentrate in other problem areas.
In other business, after the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Approved the second and final reading of an ordinance prohibiting smoking in certain areas of Graham Park. City manager Kathy Dillon said there were concerns about people smoking in the bleachers, so areas have been designated within the fenced in area for smoking. The area still allows for smokers to see the children play, she said, adding that it is “working well.”
Harrison said he has had several favorable comments.
• Heard a proclamation read by Hailey for National Police Week May 12-18 and May 15 Peace Officers Memorial Day.
• Accepted a bid from Ford Construction Co. in the amount of $417,121.99 for the Everett Boulevard lane construction project. Other bids received were $480,361 from Harold Coffey Construction and $505,759 from J.R. Hayes Construction Co.
Ms. Dillon said this is a budgeted item.
• Discussed yard sales and a problem with a residence on Bishop Street. Ms. Dillon said the matter has been turned over to planning and codes.
She said the city does not have a definition to limit what can be sold in yard sales or the number of people who can come together at one location to have one.
“We’ve already limited them to three in a year,” she said.
Ms. Dillon said if there is a traffic issue, it is one that can be dealt with by the police department. Councilman Billy Jack “B.J.” Cranford said there should not be a traffic issue on Bishop Street.
Ms. Dillon said if the city was to limit who can sell and how much, it would hurt the residents who enjoy yard sales, as well as schools, churches and organizations that hold yard sales.
Cranford and Hailey both said the city can’t tell families they can’t come together to have yard sales. “We’ve done what we can do,” Hailey said.

Published in The Messenger 5.8.13

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