Group opposing Albany red-light cameras criticizes bidding process

ALBANY, N.Y. — With the due date for red light camera vendor bids right around the corner, the group No Albany Red-Light Cameras, or NARC, is criticizing the process.

Albany resident Jesse Calhoun wasn’t thrilled when the city of Albany decided to go-ahead with its proposal to install 20 red light cameras in 2015. A co-founder of NARC, Calhoun says that the city’s request for proposals for camera firms doesn’t do enough to weed out companies with shady pasts.

The group says it is urging the city to take a closer look at firms and automatically discount any company involved in a class action lawsuit.

But Mayor Kathy Sheehan says the addition of the cameras in Albany will not repeat what other municipalities got wrong, and says the cameras will help ensure safety for Albany residents.

“We’re not going to copy failure, were looking to have success here, so that’s what we’re going to work towards,” said Mayor Sheehan.

But Calhoun says if the cameras bring in the $2 million in fines as promised in the mayor’s 2015 budget, he worries it won’t just highlight drivers not obeying the law.

“Once the revue stream starts coming than all kinds of different shady-ness can go on,” said Calhoun.

An idea Mayor Sheehan says she will never let happen in Albany.

“We know that there are safe ways to do this, I know there are examples of other communities who did not choose to go down those safe paths, were not going to go down those paths,” she said.

The city will accept bids through the end of the month.




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