On the same week as cyclists protested the recent uptick in rider deaths, city officials announced the beginning of the expanded speed camera program—which will significantly expand the number of speed cameras and their hours of operation.
The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) will announce the beginning of the speed camera program on Thursday morning, near P.S. 28 in the Bronx’s Mount Hope neighborhood, along East Tremont Avenue. The section is a Vision Zero Priority Corridor, in the top 10 percent of corridors in the borough for number of people killed or severely injured.
Following years of advocacy, the state legislature passed several bills in the spring that will allow officials to increase the number of cameras in school zones, from 140 to 750. The cameras will also have expanded hours of operation, tracking vehicles from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Back in May, Mayor de Blasio announced that the new cameras will be installed at a rate of 40 per month through 2019 and 60 per month in 2020—expecting to reach 750 by June next year. According to the DOT, the cameras will be installed across “high-crash corridors” in the five boroughs, including Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island, First Avenue in Manhattan, Northern Boulevard in Queens, and Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
As we previously reported, the speed cameras stemmed from a program enacted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and implemented by the DOT in 2014, which brought cameras to 140 school zones. The cameras have reduced the number of crashes in the city since they were implemented, and transit advocates had been pushing for years to expand the program. Before the state legislature passed the bill, Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and City Council speaker Corey Johnson also worked together to advocate for its expansion.
“We have been fighting for years to protect more New Yorkers from reckless driving, and we are happy to finally see this dramatic expansion of the life-saving speed safety camera program, Amy Cohen, founding member of Families for Safe Streets, said in a statement back in May. “New York City has an epidemic of speeding, and this technology is a huge part of the cure.”