Friday, June 14, 2013

Big Brother Is Watching at Delta highway

it may have been there for awhile and I may not have noticed it until recently that there is a strange CCTV cameras at the intersection of delta highway and beltline which is not the typical cameras used for controlling the traffic lights as it has night vision capability.

Being curious, I started searching the Internet and even though this information may be a little bit outdated and I apologize for that, what I stumbled across one to was the LCOG proposed ITS earmark project [unknown date] for Eugene/Springfield  which happened to talk about CCTV cameras at the Delta exchange,

The proposal also includes the traffic metering devices to regulate traffic coming onto the freeway as a solution to the congestion and the higher rate of rear end collisions in this area.

However, anybody who has lived in this area long enough has noticed that the congestion is not caused by people trying to get on to beltline [yes, it will always be Beltline to me.  Sorry Randy.] in my observation, the congestion only occurs towards the off ramps. but what do I know?  I'm not an expert. however, I'm going to bet that installing metering lights is not going to solve the problem in fact, I think it's going to cause what I've seen in Portland, a domino effect by backing up traffic onto the freeway.

and a footnote... a notation on the Oregon Transportation Commission's Agenda [see link below] "with the installation of the new ramp metering at River Road eastbound on-ramp,... buses would no longer have the bus only lanes the past the queue and would be significantly delayed at peak hours... [creating] a growing need to move the station." estimated cost for the project, $3 million.

anyway, back to the Camera.

Project #ES-TM-02B otherwise known as the "Beltline Highway Freeway Surveillance and Management" which includes metering lights, VMS signs for real time traveler information AND CCTV cameras and system detectors to collect volume, speed and OCCUPANCY INFORMATION.

Roughly translated... this Camera is looking inside your vehicle and counting heads.


The estimated total of the LCOG project is $5 million which by the way coincides with the city of Eugene's debt.

Take that and a $2 million for the new downtown skateboard park [definitely thinking of the over 30 crowd] plus the $3 million to move the bus station, and I think we just gave the City of Eugene and a surplus.

And before you start screaming at me that it's all budgeted... in reality, it's all "right pocket, left pocket... it's the same pair of pants."

but some would argue that Eugene is growing, and we need the EmX and these type of systems to adjust to the growth.


Doesn't seem like it to me... so I looked it up.

according to the city Eugene, from 1983-2010 Eugene's population is only grown by 50,000 and is on the slight decline. <source = city of Eugene's population growth data>

but I could be totally off-base as I'm sure the City Council has delusions of what they're doing is actually going to attract business and growth.

But I could be wrong.

my point... money is tight for both people and governments... and I think they have better things to do than counting heads inside cars with a permanent mounted camera.

additional information...
ODOT-- Delta highway I TS
Oregon transportation commission agenda April 17, 2013

by the way... I went to Junction city yesterday and speaking of cameras, why are there two cameras on each side of the freeway looking directly into the cab of your vehicle?

personally, I think there should be a law requiring any type of public CCTV system to be labeled as to its owner.

But that's just my opinion.

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