The last day of 2013 was also the last day of a controversial traffic ticketing camera program in Monroe.
The cameras were approved in 2007 but didn’t go into use until 2010, as there were issues with street construction.
The cameras filled two functions. At two locations, they issued tickets to people speeding through school zones on W. Main Street and on Fryelands Boulevard.
At another location, they ticketed people running red lights at Kelsey and U.S. 2.
The program was profitable for the city; although the legal battles over ballot issues around the ticketing cameras cost the city more than $80,000, the city cleared more than $100,000 a year on the cameras.
But the cameras were deeply unpopular, and caught the attention of anti-tax activist Tim Eyman of Mukilteo, who helped spearhead a citizens’ initiative demanding the cameras’ removal. The initiative passed, but a series of legal challenges resulted in a finding that the initiative power doesn’t extend to traffic safety programs.
The city agreed to terminate the program once the contract with the company that provided them expired.
That contract ended at the end of 2013.