Will Brodsky and Assembly Dems Back Up Their Enforcement Bluster?

brodsky.jpgA short item in yesterday’s Crain’s Insider notes that the hiring of 100 additional traffic agents is on hold due to belt-tightening in the city budget:

An increase in the number of traffic agents, called for in PlaNYC, was cut from the city budget approved Sunday. The agents were to patrol new bus lanes and ticket cars under the anti-gridlock law just approved in Albany. Previously, only police officers could write the tickets. Adding agents is now slated for fiscal 2010.

According to the 2008 PlaNYC progress report [PDF], the new hires had already been postponed, so this is the second year in a row that beefing up the number of traffic enforcement agents will be delayed. Makes you wonder if the money will be there in 2010, as hoped for.

Earlier this year, when Richard Brodsky was touting his version of a congestion mitigation plan [PDF], the Westchester Assemblyman championed better enforcement as a key alternative strategy to pricing. His plan, which he introduced in the State Assembly as bill number A10198, also included a provision for 100 additional traffic agents. (It did not, incidentally, include red-light or bus-lane cameras.)

The bill never came up for a vote. Now the city is having trouble funding the same number of agents (we have a request into the mayor’s office to determine why this provision was singled out). Will Brodsky and the Assembly Democrats who stood with him in February back up their talk next session, and push for the enforcement measures in A10198? Inquiries placed to his office yesterday afternoon and this morning have not yet been returned.

  • Ian Turner

    Something smells funny here. I’d expect traffic agents to pay for themselves, since the tickets they write are so profitable. More agents = more tickets = more income, so budgetary concerns should never be an issue when hiring traffic agents. If TEA’s tickets don’t pay their salaries, then something else is wrong — either the TEAs make too much, the fines are too small, the system is too bureaucratic, or too many tickets are thrown out in court.

    Instead of a balanced-budget issue, this sounds like some kind of political non-decision, perhaps due to bullying from the PBA, AAA, or other automobile interests.

  • bureaucrat

    not just salary – benefits, pension etc – may be those are paid for by tickets also, but just pointing out.

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