Thursday, January 31, 2008

SPEED CAMERAS SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN WESTCHESTER...REMINDER: LAST DAY TO PAY TAXES IS TODAY

The NY State Legislature should adopt legislation that would authorize speed cameras to be used in Westchester County to control speeding. Under NY State law, speed cameras cannot be used in any location outside of NYC where they are being evaluated in a pilot project. If the law would change local governments would be able to place them near schools and in areas where reports indicate that speeding has led to an inordinately high number of accidents. A news story that appeared on the TODAY show on January 31st indicated that speed cameras have cut speeding dramatically in the streets around the nation that have them.Local governments should also be authorized to utilize stop sign cameras.
I will be urging the NYS Legislature to adopt legislation that will enable every municipality in Westchester County to use speed camera’s. Those wishing to participate in the lobbying effort should e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com.
REMINDER: TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO PAY THE 2ND HALF OF YOUR SCHOOL TAXES. The Town Hall is open till 7 PM. You can also pay your school tax bill on line: www.greenburghny.com.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

That would be an expensive undertaking for the town (the equipment, the ongoing maintenance of the equipment, the additional administrative staff, the postage, etc.). Would you cut budget items to pay for this or would you increase taxes? Is it a significant enough problem in Greenburgh to be worth such a huge town expense?

Anonymous said...

Just have the Police do their job and we won't need these cameras.

Anonymous said...

The use of cameras on some streets would cut down of drivers speeding and reduce accidents. The cameras would pay for themselves with the fines collected.

Anonymous said...

If cameras are the way to go how many police positions will be cut.
You can't have it both ways.
We cannot be taxed for the cameras as well as police salaries.

Anonymous said...

"The cameras would pay for themselves with the fines collected."

Perhaps, though the initial expenses would be high.

I wonder if the Supervisor costed this out before posting the idea.

Anonymous said...

Speed cameras is a great idea Paul. They should be first placed in areas close to schools where speed signs are already posted. We should have strict speed limits to protect children at school. Also, why not let cameras serve a dual purpose (if possible), also catch those who toss garbage out of vehicles?

Just yesterday, at the intersection of Hartsdale Road and Dobbs Ferry Road a vehicle tossed a glass bottled, then the car behind it ran over the bottle and then half of the road way is now strewn with pieces of glass at that intersection; definitely more than one vehicle will get a flat tire. I bike the streets of Greenburgh quite a bit and find that much of our streets are littered and pieces of glass make the most of that litter. I once recommended that we up the fines on litter and place big notices at that. At least, a higher price can lead to some deterrence and if a police offer sees a litter bug, they should be arrested.

Anonymous said...

Speed cameras would have an extra effect. They would catch many more speeders, because they are always on, while police are not always there. In parts of Manhattan there are cameras which photograph cars which go through red lights, and they photograph every car, not just a few.

I am sure that the installation of cameras would enable the resuction of police (some may not like that), vastly increase enforcement (some would not like that as well), substantially raise revenue (everyone would like that), and make residents more law-abiding (who would possibly like that?)

On balance, I think it is a good idea, especially the red-light catching cameras.

Anonymous said...

I think that speed cameras can reduce the need for police patrols. The cost of the cameras would be far less than the cost of police.

Anonymous said...

"The cost of the cameras would be far less than the cost of police."

Yes. If this proposal is accompanied by the the precise number of jobs lost (and any other budget cuts to balance the expenses of this idea), then a valuable discussion can begin.

feiner needs to update blogsite emails said...

I think the speed cameras and red light cameras are a good idea.there are 2 reasons.
1. This way the unmarked detective/ police car who is alway's hiding on Central Avenue looking for speeders can do more important police work.
2. the amount of people who run the red light at 4 corners in Hartsdale as well as Columbia / Hartsdale Avenue will get caught and fined.

Anonymous said...

People running red light at 4 corners? I find that hard to beleive -- the traffic is so bad you couldnt get an opening.

Feiner needs to update blogsite / emails said...

To anon 8:51 AM See how many people run the light/ left turn arrows during the day. Not to mention how many people mainly with those awful SUV's stay in the left hand lane and then go straight as they cut everyone off.

Anonymous said...

What the four corners needs is not a camers but a police person directing traffic.
We had this service many years ago,try bringing it back to see how much more easily traffic will flow.

Anonymous said...

We dont have pro-active police directing traffic like White Plains. The Hartsdale station area is a zoo at night, especially like last Friday when it was raining. In WP, there are officers out getting traffic moving. In Greenburgh, all the police do is give tickets or threaten tickets. Heaven forbit they should try and get traffic moving.

hal samis said...

I'm sorry bit I read this topic a little differently.

I don't see speed cameras on the streets tomorrow, shifting budget items to pay for them, cops being fired, citizens going through red lights with impunity...

What I read is the need to get a player on first base.

This can only be done by getting the County to allow speed cameras to be used -- in those municipalities that choose to employ them.

If the County currently bars their use, then all these other (no criticism of the thoughts regarding cost, how to pay, where to place etc.) matters are a waste of breath.

What should be considered is whether there is any downside to allowing their use. Since no civil libertarians have yet come to the blog to discuss the other uses that these cameras can be put to,I guess this is not a problem --nor is to me to be honest.

Thus, this seems like a solid idea that should be supported -- unless you have misgivings about what the next hitter at bat should do with one man on.

This is not so much different from the spectacle that accompanied the outcry that the Town needs to build sidewalks. How much a foot, who's going to maintain, which streets get them and which don't and all the details that may change from the beginning to the year that the first sidewalk gets built, if ever.

Bottom line is that so far there are no new sidewalks.

It seems to me that the legal hurdles need to be dealt with and this first step is really one of little out-of-pocket cost. Once the permissive mechanism is in place, then the other issues should be discussed as ad nauseum as anyone wants.

A Greenburgh tradition is that we agree never to agree and then marvel at how come nothing never gets done.

"Speed cameras should be authorized in Westchester" note, Westchester, not specific to Greenburgh. Let's get past this before we tear apart step two.

Anonymous said...

We do not need cameras what we need is foot patrol directing traffic at peak hours so that traffic moves freely..

Anonymous said...

Why can't Greenburgh police do the job that White Plains doen in directing traffic .
Greenburgh could learn the know how from White Plains so traffic could flow at certain hours instead of being backed up the kazzoo in all directions.

Anonymous said...

Because Greenburgh doesnt care. They might want to give tickets, but they dont care about getting traffic moving.

Anonymous said...

The work order should come from the Chief.
I don't know why he is waiting so longto impliment foot patrol when he constantly asks for more money.
Let's get some work done for the taxes that we pay.
When one has to wait threeor four lights to change at the four corners is a bit too much.,
S0 chief the rest is up to you .
Show the residents that you care about their sanity when passing some of the busiest intersections.
I don't have to mention them you know where there at,because you had that duty many moons ago.

Anonymous said...

Lets step back. There is no point in having more traffic officers because it wont help. They either dont know or dont care how to get traffic moving.

As to speed cameras, I want some assurance from paul that there will be a greater offsetting reduction in personnel costs.

And on a related matter, why does the HPPD pay about 70K for policing. Dont we just need one person to pass through? Cant we hire a meter maid, not a police officer? I realize all costs are paid by permit holders and meter feeding, but in the end we pay fofr it.

Anonymous said...

We do not need more police officers we have enough on the job to do this policing.
That's the problem everyone thinks that we need more police to do the job that should be done.
Whomever is doing "office work" should be assigned to direct traffic at peak hours.
This isn't hard is it

Anonymous said...

I do think that our police know how to direct traffic since we have seen them at different times if there is an accident .
Why can't they do the same to help with the congestion at the train station and at the four corners.
we just need them at peak hours.
They do receive a good salary so they should listen to what the tax payers want.
They always want now we want something in return.

Anonymous said...

The County should definitively install cameras on the county parkways. The Sprain Brook Parkway is a classic example of "...where is a cop when some one needs one!" I hope that the Supervisor will pressure the County on the Sprain. Currently states like Arizona have raised fortunes and cut-down dramatically both deaths, and accidents, caused by speeders. Arizona has some great roads that loop around Phoenix and Scottsdale, and the violators of the high speed limits have endangered the law-abiding public. My belief is to seek a raise in the speed limit on the Sprain to either 60 or 65 mph and have it strictly enforced through the use of cameras.

The proof available is obvious, road cameras stop speeding, saves lives and lowers the rate of life-threatening and serious accidents.

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Cameras on the Sprein you have got to be kidding. Raising the speed limit will cause more deaths.
The speed limit in now at 55 show me how many vehicles adhear to that speed.
It's 55 now the cars go 70 and over. make 60 or 65 they will be going 100.
What we need on this HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN IS THE PRESENCE OF THE POLICE.
The only time you see the state troopers is the end and beginning of the month,setting up road blocks to catch motorists that have no seat belt.
Goes to show all of us that they only do their job to bring in revenues,which go thru our court system without Greenburgh receiving any money for hearing the cases.
Theres a law that no one should drive speaking on a cell phone,well that's the biggest laugh.
check how many motorist pass you by speaking on the phone.
Where are the police.
Raising the speed limit is crazy.
.

Anonymous said...

So raising the speed limit is crazy! The speed limit is 40 mph on the Bronx River and every police study reflects that the average speed is 56 mph. The Bronx River, with its many entrances and exits is an unsafe road. But why should the BRP be 40 mph and Route 119 be 40 mph? If you raise the speed limit a bit and enforce it, the newer speed limit will be respected.

The Sprain is 3 lanes separated by water. Almost every where else in America that road would be between 65 and 75 mph. In New York State the speed limit, above the state limit of 55 mph is determined by population density. That is why 684is 65 mph.

My argument is that 55 mph is not respected. I am all for more police, but I want a realistic speed limit. If you believe that people are only going 65-70 mph, you either do not drive on the Sprain or are totally uninformed. Many people drive in the 90's and above.

I would call for cameras and an increase in the speed limit, first to 60 and then if the studies show that the cameras have slowed the traffic down a move to 65 mph. The key is safety and super highways all over the world and the US have higher speed limits. The problem quite often is not the traffic moving at 65 mph, but the idiots going in the 80 to 100 range.

Obviously our police budgets are stretched, and pulling people over isn't terribly efficient. But $100 tickets in the mail can make an awful dent in one's bank account. I kid you not that in Arizona they are raking in a fortune and people are slowing down.

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Take the Police Officers out of the ambulances and have them do real police work for a change. I never see them in my neighborhood on patrol.

Anonymous said...

The local police do not patrol the parkways or the state and federal roads. It is the state and county police. We need much more sophisticated methods to slow drivers down! The idea is to capture license plates on camera and send bills to the offender's homes will make a huge difference. If anything, I would put wooden/plastic police cars with dummies in uniform in the front seats. Tow them in the middle of the night every other day to different locations and replace them with real cops. That should keep the speeders guessing and worried. We need a strategy of deception and ingenuity.

Anonymous said...

Richard, I agree with you that our speedlimits are abritrarily low and that we do not enforcement of outrageous speeding.

I disagree with you that our police budgets are stretched. I think one of the hardest jobs is being a policeman out in the street. But I question how many of Greenburghs finest are in the station. This must change. Excessive overtime must stop. The fat years in Greenburgh are over.

Anonymous said...

Personally I am not in position to question the current public safety budget. All budgets have some "fluff" and it is not worst idea in the world to periodically do an audit of how expenses are acocunted for and how labor is distributed. In this era of declining revenues, hard choices will have to be made. The ability and efficacy of Town government rubber-stamping and passing along each and every increase to the taxpayer may have to be over for the present time. Budget creep is with us daily, and unless a town and a community is willing to go through the intense struggle of either re-negotiating contracts or as they expire demanding give-backs, the Greenburgh tax-paying community will, like all of its neighbors, continue to suffer.

But, let us not deceive ourselves in the belief that all tax increases are due to inefficiency, laziness, cooping, malfeasance, or poor management. The average public safety individual, like the vast majority of workers in Greenburgh does his/her job well and honestly. The cost-cutters must stop blaming labor and poor management as the culprit of all of the budgetary problems.

Cutting down departments has been the traditional way of cutting expenses. This will impact directly on services and the quality of life. We all should understand that something has to give.

Again, I call for a strong effort, by the town to increase commerce, and therefore needed revenues from shoppers and businesses. The commercial zones along Central Park Avenue, 9A and other roads zoned for business, must attract new development. The luddite mentality of "no growth" will continue to make Greenburgh and most of Westchester to expensive to live. We must partner with business or we will all suffer. Already Westchester is becoming divided between the rich and the poor.

This new Board must take a pro-active approach to these needs.

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Put the cameras on West Hartsdale Avenue from Dobbs Ferry to Central Avenue. Then perhaps I won't be waked up at all hours by the ambulances coming to pick up the injured who have speed crashed at 2am

Anonymous said...

Please, no traffic officers at intersections! They tend to mess up matters. Just make sure the timing at lights is accurate.