Thursday, February 10, 2011

They're at it again

On a cold, rainy day I captured my seventh group of speed-trap cops (I have two collections of photos I didn't upload to flicker). I've lost track of the number of times I've driven past and didn't stop to photograph them.

Today I was working at another location in Research Park, and drove back to my regular office on Lake Lynda Drive, passing this location around 11:30am. Nobody was there. I drove back to Research Park right before 2pm to attend an afternoon meeting, which is when I spotted this pair doing their thing. I stopped a good distance from them to take a few photos.

Corporate Blvd speed trap east bound
"Corporate Blvd speed trap east bound"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-200mm
1/400s, f/4.5, ISO 200, 182mm
When I was walking back to take the second photo of the 30mph sign below, our two intrepid speed-trap officers had closed up shop and were driving down Corporate to Alafaya like they were in a hurry to get somewhere. Although I certainly can't prove it, they weren't traveling 30mph. They were moving a good deal faster. No lights or sirens, just a pair of Orange County squad cars moving with all deliberate speed away from where they'd set up speed-trap shop.

First speed posting west bound Corporate Blvd
"First speed posting west bound Corporate Blvd"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-200mm
1/640s, f/4.5, ISO 320, 89mm, +1 EV
The question I've had every since the third time I saw this going down is what is so special about the intersection of Corporate Blvd and Quadrangle Blvd. The entire road is posted 30mph. The posting is rather peculiar. There's the regular posting at the entrance to Corporate headed west (above), and then there's one more sign at he corner of Data Drive and Corporate (below). And that's it on the west-bound side headed towards Rouse. After the second sign there's the long curving stretch of road until you reach the intersection of Quadrangle. The west bound side of Corporate runs past Lake Ruth; it's wooded and undeveloped. No entrances, no heavy traffic, no school zones. Just several office buildings on the east side of Corporate. In short, nothing at risk that calls for this kind of heavy periodic police presence.

To give you an idea of why it's so strange to see this kind of police attention at this location, consider Research Park next to the University of Central Florida. Research Park is posted 30mph throughout. Yet there has never, in the same length of time that Orange County has been staking out the Corporate location, been an equivalent amount of attention in Research Park. There have never been in speed traps in Research Park, or at least I've never seen them, and I've driven all over the Research Park area since 1998.

Why do I think this is being staked out so often? Let me offer the following observations:
  • Corporate is the extension of Gemini Blvd, which leads out of the University of Central Florida. Gemini changes to Corporate as it crosses Alafaya. This means it's a route for students leaving UCF and headed to Rouse Road. It runs parallel to University, and at any time of the day, it's lightly traveled compared to University. This makes it an ideal alternate to Rouse.
  • There's large numbers of student apartments at the intersection of Corporate and Alafaya. Once again, if you want to head away from UCF and toward downtown, it's easier and faster to head down Corporate than to head south on Alafaya then west on University.
  • There are low-cost housing rentals on Rouse south of University. Once again, it's simple to head out of UCF, down Corporate, then south on Rouse to home.
Cops seem to find it easier to pick on students. They don't have the experience or resources to fight back. I've seen this type of petty police abuse happen at Florida State (Tallahassee Police), and I now see it near UCF.

Second speed posting west bound Corporate Blvd
"Second speed posting west bound Corporate Blvd"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-200mm
1/400s, f/4.5, ISO 320, 200mm

And now, I present the other four sets of speed-trap captures. Enjoy.

Orange County Sheriff Speed Trap - 12 Feb 2009
"Orange County Sheriff Speed Trap - 12 Feb 2009"

Second Speed Trap
"Corporate Blvd Speed Trap - 25 February 2010"

Orange County Speed Trap 24 March 2010
"Orange County Speed Trap - 24 March 2010"

One more speedtrap
"One more speedtrap - 29 March 2010"

The other two sets aren't on Flickr, although I'm thinking I need to post them just for the record. In the mean time I'll keep my speed legal and my eyes open for more photographic opportunities.

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