Could cameras tame a deadly Greenpoint street?

What a drag: Majority of McGuinness drivers break traffic laws
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

A Greenpoint lawmaker wants to tame traffic on one of Brooklyn’s deadliest streets by catching speeding drivers on camera.

Democratic state assemblyman Joe Lentol introduced a bill last week that would bring several cameras to McGuinness Boulevard — a dangerous roadway where two-thirds of vehicles exceed the city’s 30-mile-per-hour speed limit, according to a 2012 study.

“Drivers along McGuinness Boulevard 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.”

The proposal calls for at least two cameras that would monitor Queens–bound and Williamsburg–bound traffic on a boulevard where vehicles have struck 13 cyclists and 44 pedestrians between 2005 and 2009, according to state data.

Lentol said the locations of the cameras would change during the temporary pilot program.

But before the cameras hit the street, Lentol needs to win over his peers in Albany.

Upstate legislators have stymied speed camera legislation in the past, although there are several new bills from downstate lawmakers pushing for them this spring.

Even Lentol has opposed red light cameras in the past, noting that it is difficult for motorists to challenge speeding tickets in court — but he believes speed cameras are the best way to tame McGuinness Boulevard.

“We’ve tried other methods of enforcement — we’ve had cops give out speeding tickets and the Department of Transportation has looked at signal lights — and I think we should try this approach,” said Lentol.

The Bloomberg administration has supported state legislation seeking speed cameras, but Lentol’s office has not yet approached the Department of Transportation about the bill, according to an aide.

A city transportation spokesman declined to comment.

North Brooklyn residents welcomed the camera proposal, saying it might bring safety to a street where two pedestrians lost their lives in recent years.

“When drivers are on a street with speed cameras, they tend to slow down,” said Community Board 1 member Ryan Kuonen.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2547.