Friday’s Headlines: ‘Home Rule’ Rocks Edition

The Legislature shouldn't decide the speed limits on our roads. Above, the Albany State House. Photo: Wally Gobetz/Flickr
The Legislature shouldn't decide the speed limits on our roads. Above, the Albany State House. Photo: Wally Gobetz/Flickr

How many state legislators does it take to change a light bulb — er, a speed limit?

Way too many, according to Transportation Alternatives, which argues in a new report that the number should be zero. The report, “‘Home Rule’ Means Safe Streets: The Deadly Impact of Albany’s Control Over New York City Streets” marshals persuasive evidence that New Yorkers are dying in traffic violence because of outdated provisions that allow Albany to restrict the city’s use of crucial street-safety tools.

Indeed (as we have reported many times in these pages), the Legislature won’t let the city set its own speed limits or determine the number, location, and operating hours of speed and red-light-enforcement cameras. It also restricts the number of red-light enforcement cameras and the use of enforcement cameras in bus lanes. Meanwhile, according to TransAlt:

TransAlt wants immediate home rule and for the Legislature to pass the entire eight-bill Crash Victims Bill of Rights and Safety Act, so that New Yorkers can act quickly to beat back the epidemic of traffic violence that made 2021 the deadliest year since the start of Vision Zero. To which we say, “hear, hear!” The Post also covered.

In other news yesterday:

  • How many subway sleepers went to shelters the first week of Mayor Adams’s crackdown? A total of 22. (NYDN)
  • The crackdown on subway crime yielded 143 arrests so far. (Brooklyn Eagle)
  • The MTA’s chief, for his part, wants the power to ban repeat offenders. (NYDN, amNY)
  • A police chase led to a crash that damaged the fronts of two homes in Staten Island. (SILive, plus the Post, following Streetsblog)
  • Brooklyn Paper goes hard on the Grand Street bike-lane story. So did we.
  • Gothamist got in on the LaGuardia transit options news.
  • Bed-Stuy is aghast at the misogynistic art on this van parked by a school. (Patch)
  • City Limits reported that ticketing of street vendors has climbed back to pre-pandemic heights (even though enforcement was handed to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection) on the same day that our Julianne Cuba witnessed a cop ticketing a vendor in the subway at Jackson Heights. The harassment irked many, including State Sen. Jessica Ramos, who tweeted:

  • Finally, RiseNY dedicated one of its new Times Square exhibits to the 1950s kitchen of Ralph Kramden, sit-com TV’s most famous city bus driver. (Via Twitter)


Advocates to Albany: Let NYC Enforce the Speed Limit at Every School

Advocates from Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets will head to Albany tomorrow calling on legislators to expand NYC’s automated speed enforcement program. They want speed cameras by each of the city’s 2,500-plus schools, operational at all times. Speeding is a leading cause of crashes resulting in injury or death, yet state law limits New York […]

There Is No Doubt That Automated Traffic Enforcement Saves Lives

Taking up one of the contrarian slots in today’s “Room for Debate” segment about Vision Zero and pedestrian safety in NYC, Jennifer Lynch of The Electronic Frontier Foundation staked out the civil libertarian position against automated traffic enforcement. EFF does great legal and policy work in general, but Lynch is way off base here. At […]

TA and Families for Safe Streets Call for Speed Cameras at #EverySchool

Assembly Member Deborah Glick will introduce legislation to significantly expand New York City’s speed camera program. To get the bill enacted, street safety advocates will have to build support in the State Senate and ensure that Governor Cuomo signs it into law. At a press conference this morning, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White joined members […]

NYC DOT Needs to Turn On the Rest of Its Speed Cameras ASAP

Total traffic injuries and fatalities in NYC declined in the first three months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, according to NYPD crash data. While it’s too early to isolate the effect of the city’s speed camera program on street safety, the available evidence strongly suggests cameras are a factor in the city’s […]