The actual red-light camera is farther down the block at N.W. 10th Terrace, but the warning sign is located between two palm trees. The ONLY reason that you even see the sign above is because I'm using my camera's flash, and it's bounced back at me to give me an image.
So, do you sorta notice the overwhelming sense of darkness? Hard to miss, huh?
Yet somehow, the City of Hallandale Beach and FDOT haven't.
That black square in the middle, beneath the palm trees, is the city's electronic message board warning drivers that starting today, there's a $158 fine. Those three white spots on the road are reflections of orange safety cones in front of the message board. The message board that is, itself, actually parked in the right-hand turning lane for about a dozen retail outlets, including an IHOP and Little Caesars's Pizza, which, I don't mind telling you, is a safety hazard at night all its own.
And if you're turning north onto N.E. 10th Terrace, be careful.
It's nearly pitch-black, too!
Has been forever, too, just like so many other streets in this city.
February 27, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
Fortuitously for the faux reputation of the thin-skinned denizens of Hallandale Beach City Hall at Broward County's Govt. Center on Andrews Avenue in downtown Fort Lauderdale -esp. the mayor and city manager- but quite unfortunately for both the truth and any sense of proper perspective on how Hallandale Beach has completely botched the red-light camera issue in this city from the beginning, I wasn't able to completely re-arrange my schedule so that I could speak before the Broward County Commission this morning on the red-light camera issue.
Watch the meeting live here: http://broward.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2
No, the insightful and telling anecdotes and photographs of how the city has chosen to make generating revenue, NOT protecting public safety, will have to wait a little longer.
As will excerpts here of my excellent and amusing three-minute speech, complete with props: a bottle of aspirin, a compact umbrella, a small flashlight and a box of Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids.
My point was that like the red-light cameras, they are resources or tools which when used correctly, can, perhaps, help resolve a problem, but when used inappropriately, at the wrong time, at the wrong place, are not just useless but even counter-productive.
Believe me, I was really looking forward to the initial surprised expressions on the faces of the County Commissioners up on the dais -and the audience behind me- as I spoke from the lectern and opened the plastic bag to reveal my "tools."
And then, watching as they finally "got" the metaphors, and came to appreciate that the city's reason-free use of the cameras at these two locations was NOT at all appropriate if the purpose was to prevent red-light runners -as they claim.
Seeing that, in this city at least, the whole "safety" thing was a complete ruse.
I had a sense of forboding last night when my computer seemed to be going in super-slow mo as I tried to go through the dozens of photographs and videos I've shot over the past two years of the infamous red-light camera site on U.S.-1, south of Hallandale Beach Blvd., and the one that goes into operation today, which is located at the last intersection before the I-95 entrance and exits, which I visited Sunday night.
It was very, very frustrating to once again be reminded that my computer seems to have a mind of its own, and was choosing last night to engage in a teen tantrum, when what I really needed was for it to work quickly and efficiently.
I'll have to post the photographs of the areas around the red-light cameras in Hallandale Beach, with both night-and-day perspective, later in the week.
Sorry to disappoint.