Vance to Albany Obstructionists: Stop Blocking Speed Cams

Pretty much every line of Cy Vance’s op-ed on the value of speed cameras is worthy of an excerpt. But the takeaway should be this: Every relevant sector of city government has endorsed the proposed NYC speed camera demonstration program.

Photo: ##http://politicker.com/2011/10/d-a-vance-and-the-nypd-went-on-a-gun-shopping-spree/##Getty via Politicker##

As Manhattan’s top law enforcer, whose office is separate from the Bloomberg administration, Vance’s support carries extra weight.

Wrote Vance in today’s AMNY:

The pilot program has strong support from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and the police commissioner — the people who know best which safety measures are likely to be effective.

Unfortunately, none of us has a vote in Albany — we can only beg, plead and loudly encourage our colleagues in government to do the right thing for New York City: Give us the ability to save lives by using this important tool to make our streets safer, encourage responsible driving and reduce crashes.

The question is whether lawmakers Marty Golden and Simcha Felder, who represent NYC in Albany, will get out of the way of a measure that will make city streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

To those who have to this point blocked the speed cam program, Vance said: “The argument made by the few remaining opponents of speed cameras — that we are choosing cameras over more police officers — is a red herring. Speed cameras will not reduce the number of police officers in our neighborhoods. They will add to our safety, not detract from it.”

With near-unanimous support at the city level, will Golden and Felder continue to obstruct?

  • J

    It’s good to see Vance FINALLY stick his neck out for street safety. Although, with Bloomberg, Vacca, Quinn, and Kelly all on the same page on this, is he really risking anything here?

  • Daphna

    This scenario of near unanimous support from NYC local elected officials and obstruction from state politicians in Albany over speed cameras mirrors the same situation with congestion pricing. A couple years ago there was near complete local support for congestion pricing but Albany blocked it.

    Is there any way that NYC can reclaim the autonomy that is gave up to New York State in the 1970s?

    In the 1970s the city needed help and it gave up some autonomy in return for state help. However, since them the city has been helping the state. NYC residents and downstate counties pay much more in tax dollars than they receive back in services. Their tax payments instead get redistributed to the upstate counties that have weaker economies. [These numbers are approximate: for every $1 a downstate resident pays in taxes, he/she gets back about 77 cents in services; while for every $1 paid by an upstate resident in taxes, he/she gets back about $1.35 in services.]

    Is there any way NYC could negotiate a change? NYC has the worst of both worlds now: not getting aid (and actually giving it instead) yet not having their autonomy back that they gave up in exchange for aid.

    NYC would have congestion pricing, tolls on East River bridges, speed cameras, and a lot more red light cameras if it were not for Albany obstructing what is best and safest for the city.

  • Ian Turner

    What leverage or negotiating power does the city government have against the state government?

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