Several years ago, commuters parking at the Swineborne Street lot were having their cars vandalized. The hidden camera I eventually set up revealed it was the owner of the lot next door, upset with his property having been used by the city to produce the lot. The court let him off but at least he’s kept his nose clean since then.
I tested the camera on Friday during the day and found about half the time the cyclist or pedestrian was out of frame by the time the camera warmed up and took a picture. On the plus side, it did a better job of capturing object that had passed it and was moving away (camera facing inbound and object also facing inbound) meaning that something like a license plate would be captured. The problem is that I had covered up the flash so as not to disturb, panic or otherwise concern trail users and taking pictures of moving objects in only the ambient light near the bridge lead to blurry images.
If I were to set out the camera, I would need to uncover the flash to take decent pictures. This opens up the camera to investigation to people who walk or ride by and then the possibility of vandalism of the camera itself. I am tempted to try it anyway and just add a sign explaining why the camera was there and relying on the generally goodwill of most people. That, and a really secure way of locking the camera to the post and the comment that evidence of wrongdoing will be immediately reported to Pittsburgh Police.