A new initiative meant to make Portland streets safer have left some residents concerned about privacy.
The Smart City Portland initiative seeks to place 2000 sensors along roads deemed particularly dangerous.
The $1 million-dollar project has chosen to focus on a stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard, part of Southeast Division and 122nd between Burnside and Duke.
In each sensor there is a camera, taking one still image of its surroundings per second, but these photos have some people concerned.
"I’d be fine if it's just keeping vehicles in check with speed and stuff, but if they are using it to monitor people and not telling us there's facial recognition or anything like that, I’d be a little upset about it,” Brendon Quinn, a pedestrian in the area said.
Southeast Hawthorne between 11th and 46th is one of the three streets that will have safety sensors.
Portland Bureau of Transportation director of communication reassures that privacy will not be an issue.
He told FOX 12 that the image recognition software within the sensors counts the number of cars, cyclists and pedestrians passing by which then transfers the data and deletes the picture.
He also said the cameras don't track license plates, won't result in citations and will only be used to learn traffic patterns to help engineers design safer streets.
Organizers are hosting an open house tomorrow at the Portland Community College Comunity Hall starting at 6 p.m.to answer any questions the public might have.
Portland would become the third city to have a Smart City program. Atlanta and San Diego are the other cities home to a safer streets initiative.
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