Alds. Hairston, Burns split on move to eliminate red-light cameras

Staff Writer

Hyde Park aldermen split on an effort to force a vote on an ordinance that would eliminate the city’s controversial red-light cameras by 2018.

Introduced by Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) last October, the ordinance was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Public Way. Eight aldermen — including Leslie Hairston (5th) — filed Monday to invoke City Council Rule 41, which would have forced a vote yesterday on the ordinance.

But Ald. Ed Burke (14th) made a motion to table the matter, which passed with the support of 34 aldermen, including Ald. Will Burns (4th).

That led another group of five aldermen — excluding Hairston and headed by Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) — to file today to force a vote at City Council’s April 15 meeting.

During this year’s race for alderman, Hairston repeatedly voiced opposition to red-light cameras, which critics say unfairly burden minority and low-income Chicagoans.

The topic has also come up during the mayoral race. Although Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced the removal of 50 red-light cameras — including one in Hyde Park — he has continued to defend them, while challenger Jesus Chuy Garcia opposes them.