Parents, staff and community members are standing up and speaking out for speed cameras in a busy area of Queens.
Although New York City implemented a speed camera program of sorts, it’s been sorely lacking, especially in Woodside, Queens, according to advocates. In fact, there’s so much room for improvement that New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer joined forces with advocates from the group Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives. Together, they used radar guns outside of the Razi School in Woodside on Queens Boulevard. It’s part of a continuing effort by neighborhoods and communities across the city to renew and reinstate the city’s speed safety camera system after it expired in July.
Advocates hope to expand the program to cover more areas and ultimately keep more people safe. Much to many’s displeasure, the state senate adjourned for the summer without renewing the speed camera program.
Parents and staff of local schools in Queens say the cameras reduced frequent accidents and injuries, particularly to young students crossing to get to class. As the first day of school looms, more and more people have joined the movement for the program’s return.
This is especially true for the hustle and bustle of Queens Boulevard, where pedestrians must cross two bike lanes and eight lanes of vehicle traffic. Even some devastated family members who lost their loved ones to accidents that speed cameras help prevent joined in the protests.
Armed with their own radar guns, advocates clocked numerous drivers that were going far faster than the posted speed limit. Although it’s a residential area, many drivers approach it as more of a highway, making accidents nearly unavoidable.
Political gridlock in the state capitol is making it difficult to reinstate the speed camera program, but these advocates aren’t giving up. Councilmembers are citing unnecessary incidents, child deaths and even speeding reductions of 63 percent with the cameras in place.
Democrats New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have placed the blame on the Republican-led state Senate for the renewal legislation’s failure, considering the bill had already passed through the Democrat-controlled state Assembly.
Learn more about Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives on the official website HERE.