Thank goodness the 1100 block of West Irving Park Road will soon have a speed camera to keep all the children who frequent Challenger Park safe—when they park their cars. Because Challenger Park is a parking lot. (Chicago speed camera locations, according to the Chicago Tribune)
What’s that you say, there’s a park across the street? Why sure there is! But it's nothing more than a nice jogging path that runs along the cemetery and also is used to help Cubs fans get to the games. But on most days, when you drive past Challenger Park, you don’t hear children playing or the pitter patter of jogging feet. You hear crickets. And yes I know there’s a playground about one block south on Seminary, so thank God that soon, if one of the children we’re protecting with speed cameras has a ball get loose and it makes it a whole block north to Irving, that child will be so much safer.
So why did the City pick this particular park for a speed camera? It certainly wasn’t to protect children or Cubs fans, because when Cubs fans are in town, there’s Cubs traffic, and then “speeding” is reduced to what happens when your car moves forward a couple of feet every minute. (And there's usually a crossing guard there during the games anyway.)
No, I believe this park was chosen because of this tasty two-plus block long uncontrolled stretch of Irving Park Road where speeders are known to run amok.
Honestly, I don't care too much about the money-grab aspect. Our city needs it. But I'm really sick of the chicanery. The posturing and pretending. We all see through it anyway. Just call it what it is: a camera speed trap.
But if I were one of the folks buried next door in Waveland Cemetery, I would be wary, because if they can find a way to fine you for being dead in this city, they'll do it. And then they'll tell everyone it's to protect you from ghosts.
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