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Transit Group Calls on Mayor to Shift Portion of NYPD Funding to DOT

NYC SpeedCam (Photo: DOT)

June 19, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A street safety advocacy group is calling on the mayor to redistribute a portion of the NYPD budget to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and shift traffic enforcement away from police officers.

Transportation Alternatives released a report Friday in which its members argue that police enforcement of traffic laws are ineffective and put people of color at risk.

“It has become abundantly clear that the NYPD’s approach to traffic safety is not working, especially for New Yorkers of color,” said Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Marco Conner DiAquoi.

The group said funds from the NYPD’s nearly $6 billion budget would better serve New Yorkers if invested into street redesign and non-contact enforcement measures, like traffic cameras.

The group listed several recommendations for the city in the report.

Transportation Alternatives suggested reallocating “significant portions” of the NYPD traffic budget to invest in “self-enforcing” street redesigns to slow traffic speeds and reduce the need for parking enforcement.

The organization said the money should be spent on automated enforcement such as bus lane, red light and speed cameras. The technology is nondiscriminatory whereas police officers, according to the group, stop people of color for minor traffic infractions much more frequently than their white counterparts.

Nearly 90 percent of NYPD summonses for jaywalks were given to Black and Hispanic New Yorkers last year, according to an analysis of 316 summons by Streetsblog.

The group said the city should form a new unit to respond to traffic collisions, made up of the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad, the Health Department and the DOT.

Transportation Alternatives also suggested that the city roll back the 2019 expansion of transit police officers in coordination with the MTA. Instead, a new multi-agency unit should be created with the Health Department, Department of Homeless Services, the DOT and local hospitals.

The advocacy group said these measures would have more success reducing traffic crashes and saving lives than armed police enforcement

NYC Vision Zero (Photo: DOT)

The City Council has proposed a $1 billion cut from the NYPD’s budget and several elected officials agreed with the suggestions brought forward by Transportation Alternatives.

“The police have no expertise in assuring vehicular and pedestrian safety,” Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said in a statement. “Instead, too often we have seen targeted enforcement against black and brown cyclists and drivers that is discriminatory and does little to actually keep our streets safe for those using them.”

Van Bramer said police officers should be removed from traffic enforcement.

“We need to get the police out of traffic enforcement and move this important function into an agency that’s primary mission is the work of street safety.”

Astoria Council Member Costa Constantinides said it’s time to end police targeting of Black and brown men in traffic enforcement.

“The era of using the NYPD as a Band-Aid to street safety has to come to an end,” he said.

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Queens Streets for LOL

During times like these, with COVID and teargas in the air, we really need to check our privilege. With deep self reflection we must acknowledge that we need to give up things that may be convenient to us personally but may harm other member of our community and our society.

Or we can spend $4000 of that privilege to whine about parking and likely much more than that to post previously “confidential” conspiracy theories on Facebook! LOL

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Deranged much?

I wanted to call attention to a deranged post by “Queens Streets for All” that tries to liken Transportation Alternatives to, and I quote “ the NRA, KKK, bible extremists, Scientology” and “ more hostile and dictatorial than any authoritarian bully.” Isn’t it a bit much? Do the small click of business owners stand by this extremist garbage?

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Maya

I agree. The Dept of Sanitation is the same. They target minority home owners with fines. They always ticket my sidewalk area for being dirty and garbage area for improper recycling because I am a minority homeowner. My sidewalk is always clean and my garbage area always meets trash and recycling standards. I went to fight it in court twice and I lost.

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LEGAL immigrant

Want to improve driving safety? Perhaps not giving drivers’ licences to illegal aliens would help. They aren’t exactly known for following the rules, traffic or otherwise.

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Someone should really build a border wall, huh?

Trump pretended he would force Mexico to make a “one-time payment” for the wall.

By your theory, wouldn’t he have improved driving safety if that wasn’t a complete lie?

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Wouldn't a wall prevent that?

If we had a president that could build a border wall wouldn’t be as much of a problem huh? Shame Trump is so weak. Not one inch of Wall

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Agreed, police should be enforcing minor traffic violations

I’m not sure you know what this article is about. But I agree, instead of solving major crimes we need to police to spend their time writing traffic tickets. Sure it’s at a HUGE expense to taxpayers, but parking!

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