A proposal to install cameras that would capture motorists violating the speed limit was voted down by a community board in southern Brooklyn, Sheepshead Bites reports. Transportation Alternatives wants to put up to 40 cameras around the city in dangerous areas where speeding cars that cause crashes and kill people have been especially problematic. But residents of the Sheepshead Bay area (including Manhattan and Gerritsen beaches) accused the plan of trying to raise money for a cash-strapped city and of violating their privacy; and, even though these things aren’t true, they feel true.
For starters, the cameras don’t photograph individuals, only their license plates. Secondly, existing speed-limit enforcing cameras don’t bring in significantly more revenue than the cost of their operation, the blog reports. Pure and simple, this is an issue of safety: speeding cars threaten and kill pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists, and this is a method of mitigating that hazard, which affects all New Yorkers.
The community board met this information with a paranoid offensive stance, accusing advocates of trying to price them out of the city. (N.B. real poor people can’t afford to own and maintain a car.) Of course, the easiest way to avoid tickets—for speeding, for parking—is easy: follow the law! But isn’t violating the laws of the road these residents’ God given right as Real Brooklynites? Oh, yeah: they also accused proponents of safe driving as not representing the “real” New York.
“I personally think that [Transportation Alternatives’ membership] are not what New Yorkers are representative of,” the community board’s chairperson said. “I think they’re Soho or Park Slope people who have no right to dictate how we live down here.”
Because speeding is a way of life? Note to Community Board 15: I would like to live in a borough in which a marker of authenticity was a concern for the well-being of one’s neighbors—not a solipsistic reverence of one’s automobile.