A City Council hearing on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's speed-camera plan has been postponed as aldermen try to figure out how constituents will react to them supporting the controversial proposal.
Ald. Margaret Laurino, 39th, called off the Monday meeting of the City Council Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, which was slated to consider Emanuel's proposal for cameras to catch speeders near parks and schools around the city.
Committee member Howard Brookins, 21st, said aldermen need time "to figure out where all the skeletons are buried" in the speed-camera plan.
"We need to know where we're vulnerable to criticism by the public, based on perception or reality," Brookins said.
Laurino spokesman Manuel Galvan said the meeting was canceled in part because of scheduling conflicts with committee members but also because she wanted to give them more time to take the pulse of voters. Laurino wants to hold the hearing before the next City Council meeting April 18, Galvan said.
Emanuel expressed confidence Tuesday the speed-camera plan would pass.
"People will talk to their constituents. That's the responsibility of the aldermen," Emanuel said. "I know it's going to happen because as I said before, the cameras are part and parcel of making sure our kids are safe."
The mayor's package would allow cameras to operate around parks during hours they are open and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays near schools. Drivers caught by the cameras would face fines up to $100.
Ald. Rey Colon, 35th, another committee member, said some people in his ward are urging a larger speed cushion for drivers before they would get ticketed.
While he thinks the camera plan "is generally a good idea," Colon said the majority of residents he has spoken to oppose it. "Most people on the street, they think it's a scam," Colon said.
Speed-camera hearing stalled
Aldermen want time to take residents' pulse
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