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Poll: Most Golden constituents want to preserve, expand school-zone speed camera program

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Call them camera ready.

A new poll shows that the majority of state Sen. Marty Golden’s constituents support preserving and expanding the city’s school-zone speed-camera program that expired on July 25. The results prove that most locals consider the cameras to be lifesavers that Golden should pressure Senate Republicans to re-activate before the city’s more than 1.1 million schoolchildren head back to class in September, according to a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, the organization that commissioned the poll from polling firm Public Policy Polling.

“This poll further reinforces what we’ve already heard from local volunteers that have been knocking on thousands of doors and speaking at numerous senior centers in [Golden’s] Senate District 22: residents of the district overwhelmingly support the speed safety camera program because they know it saves lives,” said Jack Davies. “As the beginning of the school year rapidly approaches, these residents are more anxious than ever to get the cameras back on.”

Public Policy Polling surveyed 515 random registered voters in Golden’s district — which encompasses Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, Marine Park, Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach, and parts of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Mapleton, Gravesend, Midwood, and Sheepshead Bay — via automated phone calls during a three-day period beginning two days after the cameras stopped ticketing drivers, from July 27 until July 29.

The firm found that 82 percent of the respondents support the speed camera program, and 65 percent also want to see it expanded. Support for the cameras is even stronger among senior citizens, with 84 percent of the 133 respondents more than 65 years old supporting the cameras, and 69 percent of them wanting to see the program expanded.

The firm called a list of registered voters in the district several times over the three days, according to a polling analyst at the firm, who said that the breakdown of respondents based on neighborhood and party affiliation mirrored that of the district, which has more than 76,000 registered Democrats and about 33,000 registered Republicans, according to the most recent data from the New York State Board of Elections.

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D–Midwood) blocked the bill from exiting the Cities Committee, which he chairs, to go to the floor for a vote while the upper chamber was still in session. But since the session ended on June 20, protesters have demanded Golden do more to pressure Majority Leader John Flanagan (R–Long Island) to bring the bill to a floor for a vote.

Statistics prove that the cameras — which photograph drivers’ license plates and automatically issue $50 fines to speeders — do slow drivers down and improve safety. There were more than 60-percent fewer speeding violations in school zones with speed cameras in the two years after they were first installed in 2014, and a nearly 15-percent reduction in injuries in school zones with the cameras, according to a transportation agency report published last year.

A Park Slope mom who protested Golden’s lack of action on the speed cameras this summer said she was not at all surprised to hear that the vast majority of Golden’s constituents support the cameras, because they’re a common-sense way to save lives and make pedestrians — children and seniors especially — safer on the streets.

“It’s not a surprise, because the bill is really a no-brainer,” said Amy Cohen-Eckstein, whose 12-year-old son Samuel Cohen Eckstein was killed by a speeding driver near his Prospect Park West home in 2013. “We’ve spent a lot of time in his community, and everyone is supportive. We’ve heard from a lot of seniors and they expressed that they feel really in danger just crossing the street.”

A spokesman for Golden, James McClelland, said the pol was “not surprised that the majority of his constituents agree with him regarding the speed camera issue,” pointing to both Golden’s call for Flanagan to reconvene the Senate to address speed cameras his co-sponsoring the bill that would preserve and double the number of speed cameras citywide over the next four years.

But a month after Golden announced his support for the speed-cam expansion bill, he co-sponsored a different bill that wouldn’t expand the program, would extend the current speed camera program only for another six months, and require the city to install signs notifying drivers where the cameras are, leading critics to charge that Golden was purposefully undermining efforts to preserve and expand the program.

Davies at TransAlt said that showed Golden didn’t actually to want to get the original speed camera bill passed, and that he was backtracking on a personal promise Cohen-Eckstein said he made to her that he would leverage his power as the most senior Republican in the state Senate to pressure Flanagan to reconvene the Senate to vote on the bill.

“Sen. Marty Golden made a promise to his constituents that he would use his senior leadership position with Republicans to pass this legislation and protect NYC kids. He has failed to live up to that promise. In fact, there’s no sign he’s even made any real effort,” Davies said.

The city’s 140 cameras stopped doling out tickets on July 25, when the original 2013 authorization expired, but a spokesman at the mayor’s office said the city planned to keep the cameras on to collect speed data, which it would compile and make available in a report in the coming weeks.

The mayor’s office announced on Aug. 13 that the cameras caught 132,253 drivers speeding through school zones citywide between July 26 and Aug. 10 —and 67 percent of those were in 42 school zones across Brooklyn, according to a spokesman from the mayor’s office.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 7:26 pm, August 21, 2018
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Reader feedback

Al from Midtown says:
unfortunately safety has never been a priority of this program. The company behind this program is full of felons, check the work they did in Chicago. Stop hiding behind the lie that this is saving lives and is done for safety reasons. It's nothing more than a way to make more
money.
Aug. 20, 6:58 am
Susan Goldstein from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn says:
As a resident of Brooklyn who lives near a public school you are completely wrong. It is very true that speed cameras do save lives and yes, it is for the safety of students, parents and teachers. The school near me despite having a speed bump has had children holding their parents hands and in the crosswalk being hit this past school year and injured. Parents want the speed cameras back on and the program expanded. There is a speed bump near a playground on my block. It has not deterred one speeder all this summer. The only thing that works is the threat of summons ( in their wallet).
Aug. 20, 9:23 am
Steve from Out of town says:
Be wary of push polls. Like this one. http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3521.asp

On top of that do most voters on the state want the cameras? Let the voters statewide decide! But the minority pushing this (with scamera be for money in some cases will never want a statewide vote. To often many voters want the devices ban because their main purpose is money not safety. Safety pulling someone over not mailing a bill weeks later.

Www.motorists.org
Ban the cams on Facebook
Camerafraud on Facebook
Aug. 20, 9:52 am
Susan Goldstein from Sheepshead Bay says:
Steve, if you lived in NYC,in Brooklyn, you would understand how vital to safety these cameras are. When they were on they did save lives,a whole list of children and their parents. The majority of residents here have been polled and desperately want this. Also, the bill arrives within seven days here in NYC, not weeks later. The driver receiving the summons should be able to remember what they did. The police cannot be everywhere to pull people over.
Aug. 20, 10:29 am
Jack from Marine Park says:
PPP is a Democrat biased polling firm with flawed methods. Their samples sizes are too small and have been historically unreliable.

Speed cameras are just a money grab and safety hazard in themselves. There are more than enough traffic lights, speed bumps and stop signs to slow traffic. The safety of children is important, but just because someone screams "Will someone think of the children?", does not make traffic cams a good idea.
Aug. 20, 5:20 pm
John Wrozniaki from Bensonhurst says:
SPEED TRAPS! Phony issue. Anti-Golden baloney. HAVE THE COPS ENFORCE THE LAW!
Aug. 20, 7:05 pm
John Wrozniaki from Bensonhurst says:
I should add these jerks at PPP were dead wrong in 2016 about the election. In the 2016 Presidential Election, PPP's final polls widely missed the mark in several key swing states, including New Hampshire,North Carolina, Pennsylvania,and Wisconsin.Their polls also significantly underestimated President Trump's lead in Ohio, and incorrectly predicted Hillary Clinton to win Florida. A DEMOCRAT polling group.
Aug. 20, 7:09 pm
Harold says:
I don't give a rats patooty about which poll said what and who is or isn't making the cameras. If you don't speed, you don't have to worry about getting a ticket from speed cameras. If you are a moron who speeds near a school you deserve the ticket and the camera was worth every penny that was spent on it. Case closed.
Aug. 20, 9:10 pm
ROSALIE907 from GRAVESEND says:
On June 26th I went to PS 216 to vote in the Primary. I am a senior citizen and I have trouble walking and 216 is 2 blocks from my house so I walk there. I figured that after I voted I'd head across the street to A&S Pork Store to pick up a few things after casting my vote. As I was crossing Avenue X after voting a car came racing eastbound and made a broken U turn on East 1st Street to go westbound. He must have been going at over 30 mph and if school was in session there would have been children and parents but school had ended. Luckily I was able to get out of his way and didn't get hit. As I stepped on the sidewalk to go into A&S another car came racing by to make the light on Ocean Parkway since between East 1st and Ocean Parkway there are no lights and we haven't been able to get any either. I have spoken to several of our elected officials about this and apparently we don't rate getting a light on East 2nd, East 3rd or East 4th according to the parameters set by the Government. Speed cameras would be a Godsend since they would reduce the speeding cars in this area. Do we have to wait for a child (or adult) to be injured or even killed?

The only way to change this is to rep/driving speeding problems of his own and has been cited several times for them so I guess that's why he doesn't want them and Felder who runs as a Democrat but caucuses with the Republicans should either switch parties or caucus with the party that voted him into office.
Aug. 20, 11:15 pm
Susan Goldstein from Sheepshead Bay says:
John, yes the police should effort driving laws, but they cannot be everywhere. Speed cameras save lives, it is indisputable. Speed bumps do not deter drivers in the least. Speak to the parents in the PTAs of schools here in Brooklyn and they will tell you of how many children have been hit by speeding cars even where there were speed bumps. Again, I mention there is a playground down the block from my home on East 5th Street and Avenue P. The block has a speed bump. Visit the playground and the parents will tell you how many children have been scared and some hit by speeding cars; despite doing their best a police car cannot be at every school mornings and afternoons.
Aug. 21, 7:46 am

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