Bay Ridge Kids Press Marty Golden to Prove His Promises on Speed Cameras Weren’t Empty

Either Golden has no juice in the State Senate's Republican caucus, or he's not trying to move the speed camera bill that he co-sponsored.

Photo: Thomas DeVito/@PedestrianTom
Photo: Thomas DeVito/@PedestrianTom

New Yorkers of all ages gathered outside State Senator Marty Golden’s office in Bay Ridge this morning to urge him to take the lead in getting speed camera legislation through the State Senate before the session ends today.

Golden is a sponsor of the Every School Speed Camera Act, which would expand the number of NYC speed camera locations from 140 to 290 and extend the program until 2022. His support should enable the bill to transcend Albany’s partisan gridlock. So far, however, Golden hasn’t delivered.

State Senator Marty Golden
State Senator Marty Golden

The bill is currently stuck in Simcha Felder’s Senate committee with a few hours left before lawmakers adjourn for the year. But Felder isn’t an insurmountable obstacle.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan could decide to move the bill or incorporate it into a larger package. And Golden, the senior NYC representative in the Senate’s Republican caucus, should have Flanagan’s ear.

The impasse in Albany may seem baffling, but it suits the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the police union that opposes speed cameras and has contributed nearly $20,000 to Golden’s campaign since the start of 2015.

When Golden put his name on the bill, he told safe streets advocates he would work to get it passed.

“Senator Golden said he was happy to co-sponsor the bill,” said Maureen Landers, a co-founder of Bay Ridge Advocates Keeping Everyone Safe (BRAKES), in an email to Streetsblog. “He said he would work to definitely keep the cameras that we have and get us some more.”

As of yesterday, though, Golden appeared to believe his job was done:

If Golden feels a responsibility to do more than sign up as a co-sponsor, now’s the time to show it.

Speed cameras provide the only significant enforcement against deadly speeding in New York City neighborhoods. Their use has coincided with a nearly 30-percent reduction in citywide traffic fatalities since 2013. Unless the Senate takes action today, the program will be shut down entirely in a few weeks, enabling motorists to endanger lives with impunity.

Speaking to Politico, Governor Cuomo said adopting speed camera legislation was among the “housekeeping that has to be done.” While it’s encouraging that cameras are on Cuomo’s mind, last night NY1 reported that Albany power players “seem to be resigned to allow the program to lapse.”

There’s still time to call Cuomo, Golden, and Flanagan and tell them to pass S6046C/A7798C today.