DOT agrees to move ‘cash cow’ speed camera
A speed camera sitting at the end of a Belt Parkway exit ramp that has been the target of numerous complaints from drivers charging that it’s nothing but a cash cow for the city is going to be moved to a different location.
Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) said the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to his request to move the speed camera from its perch on Shore Parkway between Ocean Parkway and West Avenue to an alternative location closer to Ocean Parkway.
The speed camera was perched at the end of a Belt Parkway exit ramp last summer, according to Treyger, who said the location called into question whether the device was there to increase safety or generate revenue for the city through speeding tickets.
“The speed camera program is a key part of Vision Zero and plays a vital role in slowing down drivers and keeping pedestrians safe, especially in high-traffic areas near schools. However, the city must choose locations that actually help protect the public and do not simply generate millions of dollars in revenue. Placing this camera adjacent to the Belt Parkway and not in an area with pedestrians called into question the credibility of the entire program,” Treyger said in a statement.
The news website www.sheepsheadbites.com reported that the speed camera generated an astounding 1,551 speeding tickets in just one day, July 7, 2014.
The camera is located within Councilmember Chaim Deutsch’s district, but Treyger asked DOT to move it after hearing numerous complaints from constituents in his district.
City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg personally visited the site to take a look at the situation.
Treyger charged that the camera actually presented a danger because drivers were being forced to suddenly slow down on the Belt Parkway to avoid getting a speeding ticket immediately after exiting the highway.
“On behalf of thousands of drivers who were unfairly ticketed by this camera, I am pleased that the DOT has heard our concerns and recognized the need to move it to a more appropriate location where it will actually protect pedestrians,” Treyger said. “The new location closer to Ocean Parkway and Lincoln High School will ensure that it helps reduce speeding in an area with a high volume of pedestrians, especially families, students and seniors.”
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island-parts of Bensonhurst-Staten Island) had also expressed concerns over the speed camera’s location to DOT. She expressed relief at the agency’s decision to move it.
“I want to commend the DOT for listening to our concerns and taking the safety of our pedestrians seriously. With the new location of these speed cameras, we can now ensure that an area that is actually in need will have the proper monitoring it deserves and ultimately save lives,” Savino said in a statement.
Deutsch told www.sheepsheadbites.com that he also applauded DOT for agreeing to move the camera.
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