No longer seeing red

Posted 9/29/09

When I first heard about the City of Littleton’s plan to install red-light cameras at a busy intersection, I wasn’t happy. Stay away “Big …

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No longer seeing red


When I first heard about the City of Littleton’s plan to install red-light cameras at a busy intersection, I wasn’t happy.

Stay away “Big Brother,” I thought.

Besides the Orwellian feel to it, wasn’t this just a convenient way for the city to make money?

Well, the plan was approved, the cameras were installed and the citations are in the mail.

My thoughts now? Doesn’t bother me. In fact, I kind of like the idea.

The truth is, the intersection of South Broadway and Littleton Boulevard, where the cameras were installed, is a problem. During a 30-day warning period before fines began being issued in late August, notices were mailed to 397 registered owners of vehicles who ran the red lights.

In 2007, this same intersection had the second highest number of accidents in the city. Plans are for the intersection with the highest number, Santa Fe Drive and West Mineral Avenue, to also have the cameras. And No. 3, South Santa Fe Drive and West Bowles Avenue, will be part of the city’s Intersection Safety Program too.

Stats and other information off the city’s Web site aren’t really what changed my mind, however. Neither is the fact a few other area cities, including Lone Tree, have the same type of cameras.

One summer afternoon after leaving our Littleton office, I found myself stopped in the left-turn lane on Littleton Boulevard on my way to get a burrito. Only one vehicle, a large pickup, was in front of me at the red light.

The coast was clear and his truck was fast.

With the light having been red for a good three seconds, the pickup emerged from a complete stop, ran the light and sped onto South Broadway. No one was injured, but I was really seeing red now.

This happened during the warning period or just before it, so no $75 fine was coming this guy’s way.

He was not the only red-light runner I’ve seen at this intersection, just the most blatant about it.

Thing is, you don’t have to be brazen to end someone’s life when you’re driving — just a second too late.

So long summer

I was fortunate enough to attend the Denver Broncos’ home opener Sept. 20.

It was hard for the actual game against the struggling Cleveland Browns to live up to the pregame festivities. Former Broncos great Shannon Sharpe parachuted onto the field before kickoff. Quite an entrance on the day he was tearfully inducted into the team’s Ring of Fame.

The weather was warm when Sharpe descended from a blue sky on the penultimate day of summer. By the time the Broncos had secured a commanding lead in the fourth quarter, the sky was gray, the air was cool and I was regretting not having brought a jacket.

To me, a Florida transplant only two years removed, that was one of the most interesting things about my first Broncos outing.

What’s that saying Coloradans are fond of? “If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.”

Well, I waited and waited, but for three days following the Broncos game, the temperature here barely got above 50, it rained almost constantly and talk of snow circulated around the media and the office.

Was that Old Man Winter on Sharpe’s back when he landed on the field?

I haven’t looked at Tampa’s forecast in some time, but I’m pretty sure it’s hot and humid with a 40 percent chance of afternoon showers.

After trying to get my mind around this state’s climate for a couple of years now, I think I’ll give up trying to figure it out.

I just need to remember my jacket.

Chris Rotar is a news editor for Colorado Community Newspapers.


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