This explains the new signs: Roxbury speed-camera installation starts tomorrow

We took that photo this morning after WSB’er Kevin McClintic pointed out new “photo-enforced” signage on Roxbury, though SDOT had been saying the new school-zone speed cams by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School were not going in until fall. Turns out, they’re going in now – but won’t be activated until September, with warnings being issued for a month before ticketing begins in October. Here’s the announcement just in from SDOT:

To improve pedestrian safety, contractors working for the City of Seattle will be installing photo enforcement cameras at five locations during May and June. They will be located near the following schools: Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School in West Seattle, Dearborn Park Elementary in Southeast Seattle, Bailey Gatzert Elementary in Central Seattle, and Eckstein Middle School in Northeast Seattle.

The cameras will issue citations to drivers that exceed the school zone speed limit of 20 mph. The school zone speed limit is in effect for typically one hour in the morning as students arrive at school, and one hour in the afternoon when the school day ends. Flashing beacons have been installed to emphasize the times when the school zone speed limit is in effect. The cameras will issue warnings for 30 days beginning September 2 and will start issuing citations in early October.

According to SDOT’s construction flyer (see it here), work on the Roxhill and Holy Family cameras starts tomorrow. Revenue from the cameras goes to safety improvements in school areas, by city law.

P.S. The city first announced almost a year ago that these two cameras were on the way. The Gatewood Elementary zone on Fauntleroy Way already has speed enforcement, in place for a year and a half.

41 Replies to "This explains the new signs: Roxbury speed-camera installation starts tomorrow"

  • Joe Szilagyi May 27, 2014 (3:40 pm)

    As a resident and parent in the immediate area:
    Good. October can’t get here soon enough.

  • Fred Johnson May 27, 2014 (4:16 pm)

    Just another hook for Seattle to collect money….. Cameras in no way – shape or form – increase pedestrian safety.

    Very Disappointing!

  • KBear May 27, 2014 (4:42 pm)

    Fred, please explain what’s wrong with collecting money from people who choose to break the law. If you oppose this, you have the power to prevent them from citing you. Just don’t speed.

  • Joe Szilagyi May 27, 2014 (4:44 pm)

    @Fred Johnson do you have any proof of that? If I recall correctly average speeds are down at every single school in the city where this has been put into place already. You and I have no right to speed–none, full stop, and government has a compelling interest, reason and right to ticket both of us into the dirt for speeding in school zones, either by camera or active SPD presence ticketing us. Slow down and obey the law.

  • MyEye May 27, 2014 (4:48 pm)

    Having seen the positive impact these have had on Fauntleroy, I’m excited for Roxbury.

  • (required) May 27, 2014 (5:23 pm)

    This is the first smart thing Seattle has done to control traffic on one of the most notorious multi-lane danger-fests in West Seattle. Try walking on the north sidewalk up toward 35th — idiots careen by at 50, just a few feet away from you. If some impatient morons are upset with getting photo-ticketed, they truly deserve a lot worse than a ticket for a hundred bucks. Be patient, folks, be respectful of pedestrians and cyclists, and abide by the law. It’s not that hard unless you’re a sociopathic jacka$$.

  • bradley May 27, 2014 (6:15 pm)

    I live within about a hundred feet of those cameras on 31st SW. I am NOT looking forward to all of the drivers going through our Westwood and Roxhill side street(s) to avoid the flashing yellow lights and cameras the way they do on Fauntleroy. This may make Roxbury safer but it will make the surrounding residential streets more dangerous at the exact same time school kids are walking to and from Roxhill. Short-sighted “solutions” just create unintended consequences.

  • West Seattle Hipster May 27, 2014 (6:18 pm)

    Good, I am glad that Roxbury will have these cameras.

    Now, how about some emphasis patrols…………..

  • Born on Alki May 27, 2014 (6:22 pm)

    Photo enforced tickets for speeding in a school zone are $189. They can and will issue them for 21 mph in a 20. Be warned. Our company has received several for 21-22 mph, even in August when school is “out”.

  • Joe Szilagyi May 27, 2014 (7:02 pm)

    @Bradley then enforcement on the side streets. The ultimate end result has to be people keeping the limit.

  • TSK May 27, 2014 (7:28 pm)

    For all you pro-camera folk – wait until you dutifully slow down and still get hit with a non-negotiable $189 ticket for going a couple of miles over. And you never see who’s accusing you, just the ticket, photos, and don’t argue.
    We’re not talking about slowing down the 35mph folk, they’re just using these to grab more money from people who actually try to follow the law.

  • Mr.B May 27, 2014 (8:09 pm)

    Tickets are easy to get out of. They don’t take a photo of the driver only the license plate. It’s all on the honor system. They can’t prove who was driving. Take the 5th and the ticket goes away.

  • JB May 27, 2014 (8:20 pm)

    I’m assuming that these cameras will be for westbound lanes as eastbound would be outside Seattle city limits if it is true that the boundary line runs down the middle of Roxbury.

    • WSB May 27, 2014 (8:34 pm)

      Holy Family is in a pocket of the city that juts past Roxbury. And west of Roxhill, both sides of Roxbury are in the city limits.

  • Craig May 27, 2014 (8:23 pm)

    Born on Alki is right… 21 can get you a ticket, and that’s a problem with the camera enforcement. There is no human discretion, and someone trying to do the right thing can still get dinged. Car speedometers are not exact… mine is off by 10%, but Nissan said it was within “acceptable limits”, and they refused to do anything to fix it.
    I am a fan of the school zone speed limit, but until they include a bit of a tolerance, you can’t convince me that camera enforcement is not a money grab by the city. In the meantime, I try to avoid the camera enforced zones… guess I’ll be waving to Bradley as I drive by on 31st.

  • Mike May 27, 2014 (8:34 pm)

    Well, it’ll be easier to track down all those stolen cars when the owner gets a citation for the thief speeding in their car and it’ll have a picture of the thief with it.
    Owners of vehicles are responsible for all tickets cited to that vehicle, even if the owner is not driving the vehicle. The owner has to contest the citation and prove who else was driving at that time.

  • CW May 27, 2014 (9:35 pm)

    I’m happy to see this going in. I wish they would put these in all school zones. I have no problem with the camera giving a ticket if someone goes 21mph. The speed limit is 20. I do not think discretion is a factor. If I make the mistake of going 21 through this school zone, rest assured, I will not make that mistake a second time.

  • kevin May 27, 2014 (9:47 pm)

    I always slow to 15mph to take care of any speedometer issues. The difference in time saving between 15 and 20 mph is nothing considering a distance of perhaps 1500 feet at most.

  • So drive 18 mph May 27, 2014 (9:56 pm)

    How hard is that? You have no right to speed.

  • drahcir61 May 27, 2014 (10:40 pm)

    What’s the big deal? You & everyone else has been warned, slow down.

    So your car speedometer is off 10% then you better slow down even more to compensate.

    School zones are less than 1/2 mile & you can’t slow down beyond the posted signage for that small area? Ever thought that maybe *YOU* are the problem? (No, I didn’t think so)

  • A modest requirement May 27, 2014 (11:06 pm)

    I love it! I just wish that we’d do more as a society. The mixture of cars and pedestrians is a dangerous thing. It’s been shown that slower speeds reduce traffic fatalities, so why not lower all speeds? How can you argue that any road should be less safe? All residential streets should be 10 MPH. If you go 11, you should be forced to send $200 to an out of state company without the oppertunity to appeal.

  • Mike May 27, 2014 (11:25 pm)

    CW, your tire inflation and tread wear can throw your speedo off more than 1mph difference. If you’re doing 15 to avoid speeding in a 20 mph zone and have more than 5 cars behind you its also an infraction. The laws are not clear as you’d think. Slowing down in school zones is best, better is having actual police presence.

  • HF Parent May 28, 2014 (5:39 am)

    I love it. Usually the “too much government” people are the same ones talking about people need to be held accountable for their own choices. Hypocrisy stew.

  • Born on Alki May 28, 2014 (6:31 am)

    Mr. B stated: Tickets are easy to get out of. They don’t take a photo of the driver only the license plate. It’s all on the honor system. They can’t prove who was driving. Take the 5th and the ticket goes away.

    Comment by Mr.B — 8:09 pm May 27, 2014

    True, the camera only takes a photo of the rear of the vehicle and license plate, but the owner of the vehicle is still responsible for payment of the infraction. The “company” I earlier refered to for 21 mph school zone infractions is the City of Seattle itself. They will not waive the infractions, even for City owned vehicles, and have in fact turned themselves in to the collection agency. The court will no longer accept “multiple use vehicle/prove who was driving as a defense. Just slow down, even when the yellow lights are not flashing. It also says “or when children are present”, which is impossible to disprove. We have had to deal with dozens of these infractions over the years. Not once have any of them ‘gone away”.

  • D Del Rio May 28, 2014 (7:34 am)

    Could the city please put the flashing warning lights over the street like they do at our regular intersections? Lot of times you can’t see them or some people are not paying attention.

  • Greystreet May 28, 2014 (7:38 am)

    Hmm I wonder if buses will get tickets for going over the speed limit?
    I have received one of these tickets and I ALWAYS slow down to 20mph in a school zone, the phrase “or when children are present” just gives the city of Seattle free reign to issue the tickets all the time. If it is NOT blinking then why the hell should we need to slow down to 20mph if the speed limit is higher. So if there is a group of “children (that’s another thing, what constitutes “children”, is it someone less than a certain height, or someone who appears to be younger?) walking down the sidewalk at 0300 I have to slow down to 20mph?

    I know most on this blog will rip me apart and cast me down from whence I came, but seriously people read into the semantics, it’s all a trap. I believe in protecting kids 100% but just make the rules of the road clear and concise and not open to legal intepretation.

  • WSince86 May 28, 2014 (8:48 am)

    How about all those parents that speed on down the side streets after dropping off their little darlings at school. It’s like taking your life in your own hands to be walking anywhere near a school at drop off time.

  • westseattledood May 28, 2014 (9:23 am)

    I live in a “flashing light” zone by Highland Park where there are no cameras. This AM a Safe Schools cop was stationed with his handheld radar directly across the street from me.

    He was busy. I was chatting with him and a woman who had just dropped off a kid turned onto the main arterial – in an active bus zone – head down texting while turning into rush hour traffic and finally noticed us – cop and me standing by the patrol car and THEN she slammed on her brakes. She drove a good 65 feet without having her eyes on the road. At all. Dont’ we ALL see this ALL of the time now? It’s a compulsive disorder.

    This is different than going 1 mile over the speed limit in a camera zone when flashing lights are obstructed. D Del Rio has a good point. Flashing lights and signage about entering the camera zone are not visible enough. They need to be higher and bigger.


  • sgg May 28, 2014 (10:39 am)

    This is really distressing to those of us in the red-light running/speeding community. What about our privacy? What about our rights? This government intrusion has to be stopped.

  • pupsarebest May 28, 2014 (11:33 am)

    Regarding westseattledood’s comment about the texting driver:
    Did the cop cite her for a clear infraction of the cellphone/driving law?
    I applaud the camera-enforced speed zones by schools, it clearly forces people to slow down and obey the law.
    As that issue is attended to with no man(cop)power expended, it would be great if the cops would crack down on the idiots who violate the cellphone/driving law.

  • J May 28, 2014 (11:47 am)

    Don’t be pissed when you’re behind me and I’m doing 8mph through these speed zones. This is a money grab situation under a ruse of safety. At Gatewood they tucked the warning lights right around the corner . If kids safety were important they would move it 50ft to the north where you could be alerted for blocks that a school zone is ahead. SERIOUSLY!! These cameras are replacing police officers. This camera is not going to come rescue you when someone is breaking into your house. Oh yeah, cameras will give officers more time for crime right….NOT. Less officers!
    40% of all money goes to Arizona to the company that installs these cameras. Brilliant.
    Don’t pay on time and you bill goes IMMEDIATELY (not one or two months later) IMMEDIATELY to collections!!!!! COLLECTIONS! messing UP YOUR CREDIT!!!! I think these cameras are BS.
    Now lets talk about the money. The only report I heard were from the first fleecing. $800,000 was projected. $5,000,000 was collected. That’s 5 MILLION. Now minus the 2 million of our money that goes to Arizona where was the other millions used (to add more cameras I’m sure). There should be many more millions since then since more cameras are going up daily. Maybe WSB can get some accurate numbers (how much money has been shipped out of state, how much money has been taken in the name of safety and sent to 520 bridge project and tunnel project, how many people have been sent to collection). WHAT SAFETY IMPROIVEMENTS HAVE BEEN DONE TO THE AREA WITH MONEY THAT HAS BEEN COLLECTED.
    WHAT SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS AT 35TH AND THISTLE (at 35th and Thistle I’ve witnessed the light being toyed with to trap more drivers by having the green arrow cycle ever 10 seconds stopping the southbound traffic. THIS MADE THE INTERSECTION MORE DANGEROUS. MORE DANGEROUS!!!! This only stopped after I contacted the city. Then it was changed back again. The setting are being manipulated to trap more money.
    I think the intersection at 35th for the west seattle is most dangerous. Where’s cameras there? Just wait until they start putting cameras in guardrails like in other areas. Lets put speed cameras on WS bridge, I5, 99. Lets fleece em all but most importantly let’s put them in the path to downtown where the our brilliant city council members get affected by electronic police officers.

  • Josh May 28, 2014 (11:49 am)

    Question –
    What about all the people coming north/south on 30th turning onto Roxbury, or turning from 28th (Safeway) on Roxbury? How do they know whether the lights are flashing? For me, I’m going to avoid that stretch of Roxbury and go through the side streets– NOT to speed– but it’s not worth the risk of “not knowing” when the cameras are on, and getting a ticket!

  • BlairJ May 28, 2014 (2:33 pm)

    Good point, Josh. There should be some sort of signal visible to drivers turning from side streets within the school zone.

  • Lee May 28, 2014 (2:50 pm)

    Great! Let’s put some of the revenue created back into the area by doing maintenance to the roadway on SW Roxbury Street ~ another of Seattle’s neglected and unsafe street surfaces!

  • Steve May 28, 2014 (3:41 pm)

    In speed-camera zones I’m constantly checking my speedometer to make sure I’m under 20 MPH. I pay more attention to my speedometer than to my surroundings. IMHO this does not make for a safe pedestrian environment.


  • d. Del Rio May 28, 2014 (3:48 pm)

    Put the flashing lights were we can see them. How about over the streets like our red, green, yellow stop lights. The only reason I know that those lights are there is because I drive down Roxbury every day.

  • Lfauntleroy May 28, 2014 (4:11 pm)

    Thanks J. I completely agree. I was ticketed because I wAs behind a speeding truck. With no hope for defense. I sent in the claim that it wasn’t me. Ticket dismissed. More people need to refuse to pay so that a better solution on can be enforced. Until then I come to a complete stop and crawl 1-5 mph through those zones clogging traffic. Such BS

  • flimflam May 28, 2014 (4:52 pm)

    WSsince86 is spot on! some of the craziest drivers you’ll see in a school zone are…..yep, parents.

  • Driver May 28, 2014 (7:21 pm)

    Apparently, for various reasons, people just don’t want to slow down. When the lights are flashing, I drive between 18 and 20 mph down Roxbury and I’m routinely passed by cars going 25, 30, even 35 mph. I also know a couple of people who have received multiple speeding tickets at the school zone on Fauntleroy. For me, getting just one ticket would cause me to slow down permanently but one person has been ticketed at 39, 31, and 29 mph on Fauntleroy!

  • Josh May 29, 2014 (9:47 am)

    All I can say is, don’t turn onto Roxbury from Safeway or Roxhill, since you’ll never know if the lights are flashing or not (now THAT’S a trap)– and same thing for turning onto Roxbury from Holy Family!

  • Bradley May 29, 2014 (2:39 pm)

    @A modest requirement: it sounds like you would love living in North Korea, Singapore, or any number of police states?

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