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Monday, June 20, 2011

Linndale (and its Speed Trap) Survive Another Challenge

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 9:54 AM

A rare moment when a Linndale cop car is not parked on I-71.
  • A rare moment when a Linndale cop car is not parked on I-71.

You could walk Linndale's stretch of I-71 in about 30 seconds. Small as it may be, that patch of pavement has been extremely lucrative, and extremely controversial, for just about five decades.

The Linndale speed trap is notorious, not only in Cleveland, but statewide, for the sheer numbers raked in by cops who treat their small highway fiefdom like a toll road.As a 2008 Scene story noted: "Thanks to a legal quirk that Ohio shares with only one other state, mayor's courts — traditionally presided over by the mayors of cities too small to have their own judiciary — are allowed to keep nearly all of the revenue from the thousands of $90 fines they levy each year. That's how a 117-person village like Linndale can afford a police force with as many cars as blocks they patrol. Last year [2007] alone, the city raked in almost $1 million."

There have been countless attempts at ridding Northeast Ohio of the pesky and well-known trap (many of which are detailed in the article above), but being like most pests, it has survived every assault, like a cockroach that just won't friggin' die. Yet another recent move to squelch Linndale's domain failed recently.

The PD's Michael McIntyre reports that Strongsville's Tom Patton attached an amendment to the Ohio Senate's version of the state budget that would kill mayor's courts for little dinky townships with fewer than 150 people. Why 150 people? Because Linndale has long claimed just over 100 residents. Sneaky, Tom. Sneaky.

Unfortunately, because Linndale is an immortal cockroach, when the Ohio State Supreme Court was asked how many people currently reside in Northeast Ohio's little portion of hell, the number was 179. Since Patton had introduced the amendment for the sole purpose of stripping Linndale of its ticketing power, he withdrew it.

"I think it's something that is not appropriate. It's a cash register for a small piece of concrete in their jurisdiction," Patton told the PD. "Why are they out on the highway and not patrolling the street?"

Boom, roasted.

Needless to say, Patton's campaign against Linndale isn't done yet. He promised to find someway, somehow, sometime to shut down their ability to park cars 24/7 under the townships' two bridges on I-71. But, once again, Linndale is a cockroach, so...

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