Monday, April 27, 2015

Speed Traps

Local Channel 9 is doing an expose this week on the Colorado towns that make most of their money via the local police departments. Most of these are very small places as one would expect, but as they point out, an awful lot of small towns seem to do just fine without this sort of thing.

Big towns aren't exempt of course, it's just that when a town like Denver starts bringing in a large percentage of the municipal budget through the police department, this would be ticket writing on a truly gargantuan scale. Besides they have municipal code enforcement people to handle the bulk of that.

Not to say they don't of course. The existence of a discarded traffic cone constitutes a work zone extending about a half-mile in all directions from it allowing a doubling of fines. Careless postings go a long ways as well, the best example I know of is a 3-block stretch of North-bound Sante Fe Ave between Missippi and Ohio streets where the posted limit is
1. 45mph
2. 25mph
3. 35 mph
4. 25mph and
5. 45 mph.
In that order over a 3 block stretch. With no side streets.

To add to the fun on weekends when traffic is lighter and therefore faster, the city will put out one of its photo radar vans up near that last speed limit sign, the 45mph one and tape a piece of black plastic over the 45mph which means that the previous sign, 25mph, now controls that stretch. As the stretch in question includes the on ramp to the freeway, it looks like you are expected to maintain that 25mph all the way to the interstate. Fortunately for me, I drive this stretch during the morning rush hour when 25mph is mostly wishful thinking.

Google maps is your friend here. Start at the intersection of SanteFe and Mississippi and switch to the street view. Inch northward, ignoring the pics that seem to show the Google car running the red light, and watch both sides of the street.

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