An introductory ordinance before the Lafayette City-Parish Council Tuesday has been pulled from the batch of intro ordinances and will be discussed and voted on separately, setting up a likely debate on the merits of Lafayette Consolidated Government’s use of electronic traffic-law enforcement within the city of Lafayette. The movement on the agenda of Ordinance 67 — sponsored by Tea Party-backed Councilmen Jared Bellard, Andy Naquin and William Theriot — was done at the behest of District 7 Councilman Don Bertrand who supports the SafeLight/SafeSpeed contract with RedFlex, the Arizona company that administers the program.
Ordinance 67 would allow the contract between LCG and RedFlex to expire this summer, thus ending electronic enforcement, which has been controversial since its inception five years ago. Bertrand tells The Ind he hopes to kill the ordinance in its cradle — intro ordinances that are pulled from the batch are voted on separately whereas ordinances that remain in a batch of introductory ordinances tend to pass as council members issue perfunctory “yea” votes knowing each ordinance will be considered on its own merits two weeks later during the vote to finalize and pass it.
“I don’t know what kind of support I’ve got to kill it,” Bertrand says. “I’ll make my arguments tomorrow night. I’ve got an idea there’s a couple of people who will support killing it because we’re going to be discussing the contract anyway coming up pretty soon and there’s going to be a briefing as well prior to going to the contract [renewal].”
“I haven’t heard anybody make any new arguments [for ending the program] — all the arguments are the same old arguments that in my opinion have been addressed,” the south side Republican adds.
In January, Director of Traffic and Transportation Tony Tramel, whose department oversees SafeLight/SafeSpeed, issued a status report on the program demonstrating its success in reducing collisions and changing driver behavior. Following is an excerpt from an INDreporter blog published Wednesday, Jan. 25:
According to Tramel’s report, the SafeLight (camera enforcement at intersections) and SafeSpeed (the speed vans) programs have generated $10.6 million in revenue through November of last year, which represents a four-year period. Of that total, LCG has gotten $5.7 million while the vendor, RedFlex, has received $4.9 million.
Also detailed in the report is an analysis of SafeLight intersections showing a marked reduction in collisions. Using the 14-month period before the cameras were installed and comparing it to the 14-month period after the cameras were installed, the analysis shows that total crashes at these intersections fell 63 percent after the introduction of the program: 343 before installation compared to 126 after. Rear-end collisions fell the most — 69 percent — while right-angle collisions fell 51 percent.
According to Tramel’s report, the “reduction of traffic crashes appears to reflect a significant positive improvement in reducing traffic crashes related to driver behavior, which was originally identified as the principal purpose of the SafeLight/SafeSpeed programs. This reduction in traffic crashes increases the efficiency of the traffic control and traffic flow efforts, and decreases the number of serious traffic crashes to which public safety agencies must respond at the expense of taxpayers, thereby contributing to the overall public safety of Lafayette and ultimately the citizens of Lafayette.”
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OCT 1 Bobby Jindal is sure doing his best to court the far right; this post on TIME magazine says he'll be over in Oklahoma today to stand beside the billionaires who own Hobby Lobby while they announce a Bible "museum." In Washington D.C. (Wonder if there will be an exhibit on Matthew 19:24?)
OCT 1 Blogger Ian McGibboney is taking a look at the penalty call that is causing a stir. During a Monday NFL game, a player for the Chiefs executed a Muslim prayer gesture following a touchdown. The NFL has announced that the call was wrong, but Ian's not so sure.
OCT 1 Looks like hoards of whining college students and (extremely unflattering) satire can make a difference: The Advocate reports here that lease talks have reopened for Highland Coffees, a coffee shop near the north gates of LSU. Earlier this week, dismay was unleashed when the paper reported that the shop would be closing because its landlord had other plans for the space.
OCT 1 Blogger Mike Deshotels is outlining the flaws he sees in the so-called "Value Added Model" of teacher evaluation. It basically seeks to pay teachers according to how their students do on tests. (Sure hope they don't start using that model for doctors!) He's got a lot of information here, not just about the plan but about the people involved - and their history.
OCT 1 Columnist Jim Beam breaks down the difference between ISIS and ISIL, along with origins of each group and what has been reported about them over the years. It's a good clear primer if you're one of those continually confused by the names being thrown around.
OCT 1 Blogger Tom Aswell brings us up to date on the latest mess surrounding the Office of Group Benefits, which handles health insurance for state employees. It ain't pretty, and it has left Tom pleading for anyone who might be remotely competent in the Division of Administration to get in touch with him.
OCT 1 Look out! Some enterprising individual, who knows how to register a domain, has pulled off a stunning bit of hilarity here. Not long ago, blogger Lamar White Jr. gave us a post on Louisiana Family Forum, and how it is not a charity but is instead a tax shelter for a lobby. If you go to the interwebs and type in "louisianafamilyforum.com" you will find Lamar's story. Heh.
SEP 30 Here's another story that makes Louisiana look backward; blogger Manny Schewitz writes about a church that won't allow AA to use its facilities because those boozers might track in some gay. Every time he sees one of these, as he calls them "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" type of stories, he always starts wishing: "Please don't let it be Louisiana... Please don't let it be Louisiana..."
SEP 30 This post on PoliticusUSA, an extremely liberal blog, takes aim at Bobby Jindal's disingenuous attempts to play both sides against the middle on the evolution/creationism issue. Jindal is "dutifully serving his Koch masters" on the climate change issue as well, blogger Rmuse writes.
SEP 30 Ever wonder what goes on in a football locker room following a game like Sunday's embarrassment? Here's a post on ESPN about the "reality check" the Saints had. Among the comments: "Right now we're not a very good football team."
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