Assemblyman Joe Lentol wants to put the brakes on the high number of serious traffic-related injuries and fatalities on McGuinness Boulevard.
A March 2012 study by the McGuinness Boulevard Working Group (MBWG), made up of members of NAG and Transportation Alternatives, concerned residents and CB 1 Transportation committee chair Karen Nieves found that 66.25 percent of all motorists on McGuinness Boulevard exceeded the 30 mile per hour (mph) speed limit and 36.5 percent of all motorists on McGuinness were traveling 5 mph or more over the speed limit.
According to NYS Department of Transportation data, between 2005 and 2009, there were 57 crashes on McGuinness in which motorists crashed into pedestrians or bicyclists. In four of those cases – three bicyclists and one pedestrian, the accidents were deadly. With limited resources available to the NYPD to comprehensively enforce speeding laws, alternative solutions are being sought. In response, Lentol introduced legislation (Assembly bill A10556) last week, authorizing the City to install speed cameras, which are currently illegal in New York City, along McGuinness Boulevard.
The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) thus far has declined to study the McGuinness situation despite several requests from the community. “It’s clear to me, and most in this community, that speed cameras are our best hope for preventing future, needless injuries and deaths along McGuinness Boulevard,” said Lentol.
A spokesman for DOT said the agency would not comment on pending legislation, but noted that speeding is a factor in approximately 25% of traffic fatalities in NYC. He also said that additional enforcement measures, including the installation of speed cameras, would complement efforts by DOT, such as their “That’s Why It’s 30” campaign to keep city streets safer.
“I guess drivers along McGuiness Boulevard, in particular, need to know that the eye in the sky is watching and they’ll be held accountable for breaking the law,” said Lentol. “It will be as much to their benefit and safety as anyone else’s.”
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