DES MOINES, Iowa -- As more people live and work downtown, the Des Moines Police Department is trying to make it safer to get around.
The department plans to activate the "Speed on Green" feature on the red light camera intersection at 9th Street and Grand Avenue. If people are speeding through a green light at that intersection, they will be ticketed.
Last year, that intersection was ranked the third most dangerous intersection in terms of the number of accidents in Des Moines, with 18 collisions.
Des Moines police said that between a seven-month period, over 1,600,000 million cars traveled southbound through the 9th and Grand Avenue intersection. Of those, over 25,000 vehicles exceeded the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour by a minimum of 11+ miles per hour.
“We're trying to make sure we can blend the drivers of the cars, the bicyclists and the pedestrians in the area safely, particularly as the number of each of those increases,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.
Parizek said the broadside collisions that occur in the intersection are where people sustain the most injury or have the greatest risk of intersection is what makes it the thirst most dangerous intersection in Des Moines.
Some pedestrians are grateful for the change.
“It’s just kind of tricky to see the different people coming in and out of the parking ramps, and people probably distracted after they're coming out of work. So I think slowing it down will definitely help,” said pedestrian Kayla Klahsen.
Others say they are a little more skeptical.
"To me it seems like it's just another way to just get revenue for the city. Yeah, it could be something that maybe could be looked into but, I haven’t noticed any speeding or problems with people running a light or going faster than they should,” said pedestrian Jane Bryan.
But the Des Moines Police Department says the camera is the only feasible way to enforce the speed limit and they aren't waiting any longer.
“We’re not going to wait until somebody gets killed or injured down here to do something about it. The intersection doesn't really support traditional methods of putting a police car and a radar gun. And when we start looking at the parking and the volume of traffic, it's just not going to be effective for that,” Parizek said.
The enforcement begins April 18. Tickets are $65.