This Week: Students and Parents Rally for More Speed Cameras From Albany

It's also a big week for the campaign to get protected bike lanes on 43rd and Skillman avenues in Queens.

Children rallied in Albany last year for more speed cameras, but the State Senate allowed them to expire. Photo: Brad Aaron
Children rallied in Albany last year for more speed cameras, but the State Senate allowed them to expire. Photo: Brad Aaron

Five years after New York City turned on its first speed enforcement cameras, it’s clear the program has saved lives. Speeding on streets with cameras is down 63 percent, according to DOT, and traffic fatalities are down citywide.

But the speed camera program is also stuck. With state law limiting the city to 140 camera locations that are only in effect during school activities, 85 percent of traffic fatalities and severe injuries happen at times or locations where cameras are not permitted to operate. To top it off, the program will expire this summer if Albany doesn’t renew it.

On Thursday, students and parents are mobilizing to make sure the speed camera program gets stronger. They will be rallying outside Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office to call for passage of the Every School Speed Camera Act, which would expand the program to 290 school zones. Bus transportation for students is available from Fort Greene, Bay Ridge, Eastern Queens, and Riverdale. (Details and registration for bus tickets are available here.)

The legislation recently picked up the support of State Senator Marty Golden, the senior Republican representing a district in NYC. All eyes are now on Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who decides whether to allow a vote on the floor, and Cuomo, who can get the bill through the legislature if he makes it a priority.

Details on Thursday’s rally and other calendar highlights below. Check the calendar for more info on these and other events.

  • Today: The Queens Community Board 2 transportation committee meets, and the plan for protected bike lanes on Skillman and 43rd avenues is expected to be on the agenda. 43-22 50th Street, Queens. 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Make the case for a safer 43rd and Skillman by forming Queens’ first ever people-protected bike lane with the Transportation Alternatives Queens Committee. 43rd Avenue and 39th Street, Queens. 6:15 p.m.
  • Thursday: NYC students rally for speed cameras outside Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office. 633 Third Avenue, Manhattan. 11 a.m.
  • Also Thursday: The full board of Queens CB 2 meets and may vote on the 43rd/Skillman project. 43-31 39th Street, Queens. 6 p.m.

Watch the calendar for updates. Drop us a line if you have an event we should know about.