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Iowa City Staff Says Throw Out Traffic Camera Plan

IOWA CITY (CBS 2/FOX 28) - Six months after adopting a plan to consider putting traffic cameras at key intersections in Iowa City, the city's staff now says the idea should be scrapped.

The reccommendation by both the City Clerk and City Manager is that the City Council rescind a November, 2012 decision to adopt the proposal.

"I'm not sure of all the details yet," Iowa City Councilman Jim Throgmorton tells CBS 2 News, "but I've been told the staff reccommendation is that we throw this one out."

The latest move surrounding the controversial policy comes after the City Clerk's office said there are enough valid signatures on the latest of three petitions to force the council to reconsider its actions last year.

However, the determination also found several legal questions with the existing petition, so no the issue is being put back onto the council's shoulders.

Last year, despite intense criticism, the council voted to authorize the city staff to look into developing a traffic camera policy, find potential vendors who could run the system and to identify the intersections where they would be placed.

One of the biggest boosters of the plan has been Iowa City Police Chief Sam hargadine, who's told CBS 2 News "We've got some intersections that are being run by red light violators 200-300 times per day."

Critics, like Sean Curtin of "" have fought the installation of the cameras. "People should have the right to go peaceably from point A to point B without having to worry about cameras pointing at and in their vehicles."

Curtin's organization was one three to circulate petitions to stop the plan, it's the first to get enough valid signatures to qualify.

As for what the council will do "I'm not sure," says Throgmorton, "we as a council really haven't discussed the issue much since the vote back in November."

Now it will be discussed, at a workshop council session Tuesday night, March 14th. The council also now has 30-days to act on the petition.

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