Is "Big Brother" watching over Lakewood?
Judging by the new cameras perched atop the city’s new traffic poles, one might think so.
That’s not the case, say Lakewood officials.
As part of the city’s nearly , the city has recently installed several video cameras that detect and monitor traffic flow.
The cameras — now permanent fixtures — aren’t intended to catch speeders or other criminal acts, city officials said.
“They’re basically sensors that detect whether a car is waiting,” said Mayor Michael Summers, adding that the sensors will need adjusted to reflect their sensitivity to bicycles.
Signals used to be tripped by underground wires that detected when a vehicle pulled up to an intersection.
Regular traffic patterns should be figured out sometime by the end of October, Summers said.
“We’ve had a dowton development strategy for about eight years,” he said. “And it’s working. Now guess what? We’re getting a lot of congestion.”
The $3 million Detroit Avenue project is funded mostly with federal CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) funds, with the remaining 20 percent coming from city funds.
The Detroit signal project is part of the city’s overall traffic signal replacement program, occurring in five stages. Clifton Boulevard was phase one. Detroit Avenue is phases two and three. Phase four will include Madison Avenue and phase five will include Franklin Boulevard and Hilliard Road.
“It’s been a long project,” Summers said. “Remember, we started tearing up sidewalks last summer. We’re going to be finishing up the first phase — 117th Street to Arthur Avenue — probably around the end of July. Then we’ve got to start to synchronize and make sure traffic is adjusted correctly.”