Brooklyn, NY – Councilman David G. Greenfield has written a letter to the New York City Department of Transportation demanding that the agency reveal how much revenue it has taken in from speed cameras placed along Ocean Parkway.
“The DOT promised me that they would not lower the speed limit on Ocean Parkway without community input and consent. The community is completely against lowering the speed on Ocean Parkway. We can’t let arbitrary rules trump common sense,” Greenfield said. “As I made clear to the DOT when they were considering these changes last year, Ocean Parkway is not an appropriate street for a 25 mile per hour speed limit.”
Last year, as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initative, the default speed limit on all New York City roads was reduced to 25 miles per hour. The change included Ocean Parkway, despite the fact that, unlike most New York City streets, Ocean Parkway is a heavily-trafficked bidirectional six-lane highway. Since reducing the speed limit on the highway to 25 miles per hour, the DOT has added speed cameras along the highway to ticket unsuspecting drivers, many of whom are simply driving with the flow of traffic.
“Through the placement of these cameras, the DOT has turned portions of Ocean Parkway into an unfair speed trap,” Greenfield said. “This is an example of a New York agency failing to listen to the concerns of New Yorkers. Our transportation policy should not be about making money but rather the safety of New Yorkers.”
Since the imposition of the new speed limit, area residents have reported an increase in traffic on the narrower residential roads around Ocean Parkway as drivers attempt to avoid increased traffic on the busy highway. Greenfield’s office routinely fields calls from area residents who are unhappy with the changes, and Greenfield wrote his letter to the Department of Transportation in an attempt to bring greater transparency to the issue for his constituents.
“Speed cameras can be a useful tool to promote driver and pedestrian safety, but when they are used in conjunction with an unfairly low speed limit, we have a classic speedtrap,” Greenfield said. “At a minimum, the DOT should be up-front with Brooklyn residents and reveal how much money it’s making from its unfair speed trap on Ocean Parkway.”