Eva Knott 9:36 a.m., May 23
The city of San Diego intends to continue its controversial red light photo traffic ticketing system, but a decision on whether to expand the number of camera-covered intersections beyond the installations already in place seems likely to be left up to the next mayor.
That's the message derived from a so-called request for proposal posted yesterday on the city's procurement website.
"Currently there are fifteen intersections equipped with an automated red light photo system and photograph over 4,000 potential violation events each month," according to the document.
"Based upon the analyzed benefits of the current [red light camera] program, the City has determined that the program be continued, [and the] City desires to operate [the red light cameras] at a minimum of 15 sites."
The request for proposal adds that that "expansion plans for future years [have] not been determined at this time. With a goal to reduce violations, the City cannot currently commit or guarantee a specific number of intersections or volume of work."
In a November 2, 2011 report, Jay Goldstone, chief operating officer for lame-duck mayor Jerry Sanders, told the city council's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee that the enforcement program had grossed $1,946,977 during the 12 months ending June 2011.
The report said that the current vendor, American Traffic Solutions, Inc., receives "a flat monthly fee of $3,750 for each of the first twelve locations and $5,195 for each additional location. This totals $60,585/month or $727,020/year for the vendor."
(An earlier revenue-sharing camera ticketing program was thrown out by a judge after challenges by irate motorists.)
Added Goldstone, "Both the costs of the program and the revenues received from citations have varied throughout the life of the program. Not all the cameras were installed at the same time nor were all the cameras and detectors activated at each location at the same time."
"It is anticipated that the revenues from the program will continue to meet or exceed the costs although they will steadily decline as motorists become aware of the enforcement effort and change their driving behaviors to avoid citations."
The current contract will expire at the end of January of next year.
According to yesterday's request for proposal document--which bears a closing deadline of September 20, though such dates are often moved back--the new program is anticipated to be a “'turnkey' operation, whereby the Proposer shall provide all necessary equipment and associated software with the [red light camera] program, all staff necessary to install, operate, and maintain the program as well as providing necessary services to the City.
"The City will not take ownership of equipment and software. The successful Proposer will process each photographed incident."
The document adds that "The contract is for the period of three years from date of award with options to renew for two additional one year periods under the terms and conditions of the current contract."