A controversial Sheepshead Bay speed camera that earned the city more than $2.4 million in six months last year is being relocated, according to an elected official who called its lucrative location unfair.
The moneymaking speed camera at the Belt Parkway exit ramp on the Shore Parkway near Ocean Avenue. near a fenced-off location of Abraham Lincoln High School issued nearly 50,000 tickets to drivers between September and December of 2014 as part of Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities, according to the Department of Transportation.
But a local councilman who received hundreds of complaints about the camera said the camera’s placement on an exit ramp behind the fenced schoolyard didn’t protect pedestrians, but merely generated revenue.
“After hearing from countless constituents, it became obvious that this location was only serving to raise revenue for the city and was not protecting pedestrians since it was not placed near any crosswalks or intersections,” said Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island), who lobbied the city to move the camera.
Treyger announced over the weekend that the camera is now being moved further from the exit and closer to the Ocean Parkway crosswalks near the school to protect the pedestrians who cross the street.
“DOT Commissioner Trottenberg has agreed that the camera should be moved further east towards Ocean Parkway, where it will meet the goal of the speed camera program by protecting the many pedestrians — especially students, seniors and families — who cross Ocean Parkway each day.”
The speed camera, which was only in operation during school days, racked up millions of dollars of tickets in a matter of months, according to data obtained by this paper from the Department of Transportation last year:
• July: 1,931 tickets were issued.
• August: 6,169 tickets were issued.
• September: 14,535 tickets were issued.
• October: 14,604 tickets were issued.
• November: 6,350 tickets were issued.
• December: 5,586 tickets were issued.
But instead of keeping the roads safer, multiple elected officials argued that the camera was causing more chaos. Treyger said that drivers were braking abruptly on the parkway when they realized there was a camera, which disrupted the flow of traffic and potentially increased the likelihood for accidents.
“This location protected no pedestrians and actually made it unsafe for drivers,” said Treyger.
Treyger said the department made the right choice by moving the camera.
“This was a common-sense decision.”