The Greater Olney Civic Association approved a resolution on Tuesday to modify speed limits around town amid a high number of speed camera citations and fines on Olney-Sandy Spring Road (Route 108).
The resolution came as a response to a report released earlier this year by GOCA’s Traffic Camera Task Force. It contained various statistical findings, including that Olney had three of the top five highest-grossing speed cameras in Montgomery County in 2013.
The resolution consisted of 10 amendments, some of which included bringing the speed limit, both westbound and east bound on Olney-Sandy Spring Road, down from 40 to 35 miles per hour and having the Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit publish speed camera citations on a monthly basis in order to improve the speed camera program’s transparency.
Members of GOCA debated to remove as many as four of the original 10 amendments from the resolution, but eventually decided to remove just one, leaving nine official amendments.
None of the amendments listed any kind of action to remove the speed cameras.
“It’s not a bomb throwing report … it did not suggest removing a single camera from Olney…it makes good government recommendations,” said Lee Lofthus, a resolution supporter on the county’s speed camera program.
The association voted 15-6 in favor of keeping the nine-amendment resolution.
Despite the vote, several people voiced their opposition to the resolution.
“The speed camera program has been highly successful. It’s doing a great job… Everybody knows that there are speed cameras,” said Joe Corbett.
Corbett even came up with his own alternative speed camera resolution. His resolution showed support with the current status of the speed cameras in Olney. He cited information from the Task Force Report that showed the number of auto crashes steadily dropping over the last few years, with the addition of the speed cameras.
Jonathan Arias, who is the vice president of the Hallowell Home Owner’s Association, said that the proposal for the resolution was fine but that it also fails in certain areas.
“Other steps could’ve been done throughout this process. Like using speed monitor displays. I saw no effort and I see it as a failure of the ATEU,” Arias said.
Ultimately, Corbett’s motion for an alternative resolution was not heard after a 9-5 vote among association members.
With the resolution passed on Olney’s speed cameras and the situation seemingly solved, GOCA members will have a break from hot-button local issues until the next meeting on Sept. 8 at the Buffington RE/MAX Olney Community Room.