By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the speed camera bill into law, the question is: Where to install the devices?
Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights-Williamsburg-Greenpoint) has an idea: Let the public decide.
Levin, who represents the 33rd Council District, said he will request that some of the 20 speed cameras to be set up in the city under a pilot program be installed in his northern Brooklyn council district and he is asking for suggestions from local residents as to where they think the devices should go.
The New York Daily News reported that under the law Cuomo signed in late July, 20 cameras will be set up in school zones to catch speeding drivers as part of a pilot program to improve public safety. The State Legislature had voted in June to approve the pilot program Several Republicans, including state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) opposed the measure, arguing that speed cameras have proven to be unreliable in other cities.
Levin, a vocal proponent of speed cameras, said he is encouraging residents in his district to visit the Transportation Alternatives website http://www.transalt.org/ to suggest locations for the devices.
Residents who do submit suggestions should bear in mind that the locations should be within a quarter of a mile, or roughly five city blocks, from a school, Levin said.
“It is because of the effort of parents, local leaders, and advocacy groups like Transportation Alternatives that speed cameras are coming to New York City. As a strong proponent of speed cameras, I am calling on residents of the 33rd District to suggest locations so that we can be part of the initial pilot program,” Levin said.
“Speed cameras are proven to save lives and are a low-cost technology that should be utilized in the 33rd District and throughout New York City,” he added.
It’s important that the speed cameras be installed near schools, according to the councilman. “Motorists speeding in school zones are putting the lives of our children at risk. With streets known for speeding like McGuinness Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in the 33rd District, safe streets are a priority for the communities of North Brooklyn,” he said.
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said it’s a good idea to ask the public to contribute to the discussion of where to set up the cameras.
“New Yorkers are the experts: you know where people speed; you know the dangerous streets in your neighborhood. Please share your knowledge! Since we’re starting this new program with only 20 speeding enforcement cameras, we need input from as many people as possible to make this program as effective as possible and save as many lives as possible,” he said