Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Simcha Felder

Thank Simcha Felder and Senate Republicans for Obstructing Life-Saving Speed Cameras

3:50 PM EDT on July 5, 2017

The State Senate bill to expand New York City’s speed camera program did not pass in part because of opposition from Brooklyn rep Simcha Felder, according to a Senate source familiar with the negotiations.

The Assembly passed its version of the bill, which would have doubled the number of NYC school zones where speed cameras are allowed by Albany and extended the program until 2022.

In the Senate, 31 representatives -- one short of a majority -- backed the companion bill, the source said. Felder’s support would have been enough to send the legislation to Governor Cuomo’s desk, but he refused, ostensibly because the de Blasio administration would not consent to Felder’s demand to station armed cops at every school in the city.

Felder has an unusual amount of influence because he caucuses with Senate Republicans despite running as a Democrat, and so, along with the Independent Democratic Conference, is the key to GOP control of the chamber. Felder has used this leverage to treat street safety measures as a bargaining chip before. Along with NYC's senior Senate Republican, Marty Golden, Felder dangled support for speed cameras in return for passing unrelated legislation in 2013, when Albany first authorized automated speed enforcement. (Both Felder and Golden ultimately voted to allow cameras.)

Felder was also the sole Senate Democrat to vote against the most recent expansion of the speed camera program, approved in 2014. Though he did support lowering the city's default speed limit to 25 mph, Felder campaigned this year to increase motorist speeds on deadly Ocean Parkway.

The Senate did not hold a vote on speed cameras, either in the regular session or the special session convened to settle mayoral control of city schools. No Senate Republicans were listed as bill sponsors when the regular session adjourned. By declining to call a vote, Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican who represents Suffolk County, allowed senators to kill the bill without going on the record. A message with Flanagan's office about the speed camera bill was not returned.

Speed cameras were one of several street safety initiatives state lawmakers failed to advance in 2017.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Highway Boondoggles 2023: Salt Lake Shenanigans

Plans for a major freeway expansion based on over-inflated traffic projections are a wrongheaded way to deal with the region’s rapid population growth.

December 3, 2023

Cycle of Rage: Mayor is Failing the Leadership Test on Congestion Pricing

Purely for political and self-serving purposes, Mayor Adams is attacking congestion pricing — and, in doing so, is undermining the implementation of a program that he has long claimed to be a "strong" supporter of.

December 1, 2023

New York City is Down One MTA Board Member as Mayor Fights Congestion Pricing Fee

Sherif Soliman, who was appointed to the board only last year, quietly resigned on Sept. 22, and the mayor won't get a new person on the panel until next year.

December 1, 2023

Friday’s Headlines: A Congestion Alert Day

Like everyone else, we covered congestion pricing. Plus other news.

December 1, 2023

Adams Says He’ll Ban Parking Near 1,000 Intersections Every Year To Make Corners Safer

The city will daylight 1,000 intersections a year. A Brooklyn corner where a boy was killed in a crash is still waiting for the safety upgrades.

December 1, 2023
See all posts