McGuinness Boulevard speed cameras

Assemblyman Joe Lentol wants to tame traffic in Greenpoint with speed cameras

The Brooklyn Paper
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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 or by calling (718) 260-2547.
Updated 5:33 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

heather from greenpoint says:
as someone who has to cross McGuiness multiple times a day - where do I/how can I show my support for this legislation? it is desperately needed.
June 4, 2012, 8:16 am
Juan from Gowanus says:
This is a great idea. Too many people in the neighborhood seem to think it's ok to drive like total f&*king maniacs.
June 4, 2012, 8:50 am
Steve from PPW says:
If drivers can't follow the law and the police can't be bothered to enforce it, I'm in favor of cameras. They will save lives!
June 4, 2012, 10:21 am
ty from pps says:
Channeling Tal....

Cars are always flouting the law, why should they get special lanes?
June 4, 2012, 10:27 am
papu from greenpoint says:
Excellent idea...... the motorists within and driving through this neighborhood are insane.

Echoing heather's question: how/where can we show our support for this?
June 4, 2012, 10:51 am
jen480 from prospect heights says:
The dek should read "deadly" not "deady."
June 4, 2012, 11:18 am
adamben from bedstuy says:
i think more lives would be saved if people crossed at the green and not in between. i see soooo many people thinking brooklyn is manhattan and cross against the light without looking. i see it every day, with park slope being among the worst offenders.
June 4, 2012, 11:40 am
juniper from greenpoint says:
I never jaywalk on McGuniness. It is the one place I always wait to walk even after I get the walk sign. Its scary. I have had several near misses when I have to go grocery shopping at Keyfood and do Laundry. Bring on the cameras! They should be able to give tickets to the rogue cyclists, as well, they are just as bad as the cars.
June 4, 2012, 2:56 pm
mike from GP says:
Bring them on. Drivers get away with murder, literally. No more.
June 4, 2012, 5:37 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
We should also have cameras that will track bicycles who constantly flout traffic laws even way more than motorists and can always get away with it because they have no licensing and registration.
June 4, 2012, 6:25 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Also, ty from pps is a hypocrite since he has a car, yet is always acting like a smug biker. Give up your car, phoney.
June 4, 2012, 6:52 pm
ty from pps says:
Also, Tal from Pleasantville is a douchebag.
June 4, 2012, 10:53 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Sorry, Tal. Cyclists aren't the ones killing and injuring scores of people on this road. Get over yourself.
June 5, 2012, 8:38 am
BrianVan from Kips Bay says:
Tal is right, though. We need to cut down on illegal cycling so that drivers like him have a clear path to cut down wayward pedestrians at high speeds.

Has anyone ever seen a picture of Tal? He'd need to get hit by a hundred bicycles just to feel anything. I'm surprised that he's still complaining about bicycles now that Mayor Bloomberg just outlawed his favorite 120 oz sodas.
June 5, 2012, 9:18 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
adamben, really? Park Slope is the worst for pedestrians who cross against the lights? And you're from BedStuy? If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is. You can't drive along Eastern Parkway without residents wading out into speeding traffic without even looking. It's so egregious the people who live there have to be either suicidal or begging to get hit so they can sue.
June 5, 2012, 9:28 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
BrianVan, you have pictures of Tal? I've concluded he escaped from an asylum somewhere and has chosen to troll Brooklyn because he can't afford his lithium pills. So I've tried to cut him the slack we should all cut for the young, the senile, and the mentally ill. But if you know more, pray tell! Is the reason he hates bicycles so much that he feels guilty for not exercising?
June 5, 2012, 9:32 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
McGuiness is a crazy, crazy speedway. No doubt about it. But it seems like they could take other, less Orwellian steps to remedy it. Prospect Park West used to be like that, too. But then they did a sane thing and installed the bike lane, changed the timing of the lights, and made it safer to cross. Now you can drive smoothly at 20mph from Grand Army Plaza to Windsor Terrace without stopping once, instead of the jackrabbit starts and stops and slaloming across the three lanes that used to be there. As a driver, cyclist, and pedestrian who interacts with that street every day, I say hallelujah!

So why don't they transfer that success to McGuiness? Install a protected bike lane, re-time the lights so speeding is counter-productive to a smooth transit of the neighborhood, plant trees, enhance the pedestrian crossings will bollards and bulb-outs, and generally convert it into a more liveable space for everyone?

If your whole purpose in life is to drive a car really, really fast with no obstacles or consequences, then take your vehicle to the Bonneville Salt Flats and have at it. But in the middle of NYC we need to do things differently, like the aforementioned.
June 5, 2012, 9:40 am
John from Greenpoint says:
I'm totally in favor of the traffic cameras, but since the cops at the 94th cause half the accidents on McG, traffic calming measures are the only tactic that will work.

Write to Lentol and tell him:
June 5, 2012, 10:01 am
manhatposeur from manhatland says:
They've had camera's on Houston street westside, its a valuable investment, ESPECIALLY SAVING THE LIVES OF CYCLIST!...TAL
June 5, 2012, 12:05 pm
John D from Park slope says:
Traffic lights that are timed in blocks (20 lights all turn green at once) are the culprit. It becomes a time-saving many can I make before they change back to red?
June 5, 2012, 1:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Very nice to hear the bike zealots doing their usual personal attacks. First off, I don't condone reckless drivers at all, and I have called them out numerous times in the past. However, there are being many reported injuries from cyclists, and you guys never seem to call them out no matter what. Everyday, they are either riding the wrong way on a one way street or running numerous red lights and stop signs. Why should your group be allowed to flout laws while others be subject to them? That's Animal Farms for you, and the bike zealots believe that they are those special animals. Perhaps to get back at what BrainVan said about me on Tumblr, "Forget it Jake, it's BrianVan from Kips Bay." Now, you know I felt when you said that about me, which was very insulting if you asked me.
June 5, 2012, 3:43 pm
BrianVan from Kips Bay says:

If I'm stereotyped as the "safe streets guy" then I don't mind being dismissed in that way. BTW you spelled my name incorrectly.

Yes, there are some jerk cyclists out there and they do run into people at times, and it's not right. If there's anything fair about the NYPD's response, it's that they're equitably negligent about any road-injury situation unless there is political pressure to crack down.

What I do believe I'd like to see, rather than see the NYPD crack down on motorists for ticky-tacky violations in the same vein as cops pulling over cyclists for proceeding through an empty intersection that had a red light... is an enforcement effort that targets reckless, dangerous street behavior. No 50mph in a 30mph zone nonsense, no one blowing past yellow lights at high speeds, no commercial trucks doing 1-ft grazings of pedestrians and cyclists. And I'd lump in with that a crackdown on the delivery cyclists who are riding on sidewalks and against traffic with heavy e-bikes.

But in Tal's world, I can't have anything because he heard his Jewish friends in South Brooklyn complain that the gentiles with bikes had run amok and needed to be stopped. Tal, I can't imagine you've personally seen much bad bike behavior, since you probably take a series of limited-access highways and busy feeder streets (like Atlantic Avenue, a death trap for anyone not in a car) to get 95% of the way to wherever you've got to go in Brooklyn. That's aside from the point that you live 50 miles away. Anyway, these commenter arguments are where good public policy comes to die. Everyone who wants to encourage another 100,000 willing, law-abiding cyclists to join us on the roads by making it safer for everyone is a "bike zealot". I'm not sure what the opposite of a bike zealot is anymore. Is that the position where cycling is a movement that needs to be brutally crushed, Tiaennamen Square-style? It's difficult to know what I'm even defending anymore in these discussions with Tal and the rest of the tabloid paper commentariat. It mostly makes me think that it's time to leave town, time to write off NYC as a lost cause.
June 5, 2012, 4:08 pm
ty from pps says:
No Tal, it's very nice to hear from YOU. I love you. I want to have your baby.
June 5, 2012, 5:50 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For the record, at intersections where there are cameras, any motorist who breaks the law has a picture of their license plate, and the ticket is mailed to them. However, when a cyclist breaks the law, nothing is mailed to them because of the lack of a license plate. Then again, there have been cases throughout the countries when motorists were handed tickets despite not breaking the laws. For example, in California, there were those getting nearly five hundred dollar tickets for the claim that they ran a red light when in fact they were allowed to make a right turn, as long as there was no sign saying no, after making a complete stop, but the claim was that they ran the light despite that not happening. Meanwhile, there were some states where there was an increase in fender benders when motorists had to suddenly stop just to avoid being caught for running a red light while the one behind them stopped into them. It seems as if these cameras cause more accidents than they prevent. Still, cyclists flout laws to, and they should also be cracked down on, so enough with the selective enforcement. As for the number of accidents, I believe that as much as the anti-Israel crowd claims that Hamas aren't terrorists in the claim that they don't kill as much as the Mossad does despite the fact that they base everything on the effects only while ignoring the causes.
June 5, 2012, 8:04 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
"as much as the anti-Israel crowd claims" there an equivalent to Godwin's Law for the "everybody hates Israel (and therefore all Jews)" canard? Ahhh--could this be at last the answer to Tal's pathology, that people who ride bikes are anti-Israel and therefore anti-Semites who. must. be. fought. to. his. dying. breath? It almost makes sense. You guys remember how the Hasidic community in Williamsburg rose up in arms when that bike lane was put through their neighborhood, and got it removed? I wonder...perhaps in his mind he does conflate bicycles and bike paths with anti-Semitism. Maybe the bike paths are all a vast anti-Semitic conspiracy to expose vulnerable Orthodox and Hasidic men to the sight of women pumping their legs in bike shorts. I know, I know, it's off-the-wall but it *would* explain the weird vehemence with which this character excoriates what to the rest of us is a harmless way to get from point A to point B.
June 5, 2012, 10:38 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Will you marry me?
June 5, 2012, 11:08 pm
McShane from The City says:
McGuiness Blvd. is a horrorshow. I'm not sure it's the local folks driving so crazily as much as it is motorists/truckers speeding en route from somewhere else, to somewhere else. Cameras will help curb this dangerous behavior.

It's like when Israeli commandos murdered an unarmed American teenager -- Furkan Dogan -- on a ship in international waters. The first thing the assassins did was confiscate the cameras of all passengers aboard, never returning them, so they could destroy the evidence and get away with murder.

Drivers dislike cameras, too, and innocent lives are taken every day. It's time for this to stop. Americans have had enough.

And smart politicians like Assemblyman Lentol are changing their previous positons in response to their constituents cries for justice.
June 6, 2012, 6:31 am
ty from pps says:
Does Hamas get to use the bike lanes in Tel Aviv?
June 6, 2012, 11:07 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, stop jaywalking if the street is so dangerous. The reason why Queens Boulevard has been regarded as the "Boulevard of Death" is primarily because of them. I don't see what is the problem with waiting for the walk signal. Do you really need to run across the street? I betcha if the jaywalking was stopped, that wouldn't even be an issue. Still, I find it an irony to hear a bunch of bike zealots complain about motorists flouting traffic laws when they are doing the EXACT same thing all the time themselves. Start practicing what you preach before you say it to others. Unfortunately, stats that you give don't say everything being that they only give the effects rather than causes. The only reason I said it reminded me of the anti-Israel crowd in claiming that the Mossad is a state sponsored terrorist groups is because they are doing the EXACT same thing that you guys are doing, which is just looking at the effects rather than the causes. Streetsblogs pretty much never looks at the causes unless it's in their favor otherwise they ignore them and report only the effects on their so-called Weekly Carnage, where injuries by cyclists are NEVER mentioned at all, but rather buried in the blog.
June 6, 2012, 3:29 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- When you write these posts, are you touching yourself? Is that why they seem a bit 'distracted'?
June 6, 2012, 4:03 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Also, when you have a moment after you clean up... Please share with us the statistics for injuries caused by bicycles. Share any report of the number of injuries / deaths caused by bicycles in New York City. 2011, 2010, 2009... any year.

Give me the statistics.

No, not the couple of highly publicized cases you're always using as examples. Don't Hamas us.

How many injuries caused per 1000 cyclists... or whatever the statistic you find.
June 6, 2012, 4:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, the City Room had a whole entry just about a couple of months ago saying that there have been more cyclists hit by bicycles than cars, and the link to that is below. The data was taken by the Department of Health. Of course the usual bike zealots cry foul to this and claim it was made against them. BTW, Streetsblog has a history of giving cyclist who do such things nothing more than a slap on the wrist while demanding motorist who kill or injure anyone to be burned to the stake.
June 6, 2012, 5:25 pm
Mike says:
Tal is lying about what that study says. In fact, it found that 20x more pedestrians were injured by cars than by bikes. And presumably the injuries from cars were much worse than those from bikes.
June 6, 2012, 6:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, how much is Mark Gorton paying you to mention his funded and biased studies, because I will pay you double to stab him back?
June 6, 2012, 6:14 pm
ty from pps says:
Thank Tal! You proved my point, you stupid douche.

So, about 500 vs. “Motor vehicles are responsible for over 70,000 injuries every year in New York City, and hundreds of annual deaths,” Mr. Murphy said.

I'm not "crying foul." 500 injuries caused by bikes is too many. And that SAME article included information showing that injury rates are DOWN as cycling rates are rising fast.

But what about the 70,000 injuries (10,000 leading to the hospital) and hundreds of deaths? Hmmm? What do you think the priority should be on the streets? "Crack downs" on cyclists or the vehicles causing the most harm?
June 6, 2012, 6:58 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Disregarding the personal attacks by a certain someone whose name won't be shared. Nobody is arguing about the number of accidents by motor vehicles, but the stats only give the effect and nothing more. They never say how it actually happened. How do we know that the person who was hit wasn't jaywalking or didn't look where he or she was going while either talking on their cellphones or listening on their ipods? How do we know that the cyclist who got hit wasn't flouting any traffic laws? You will never know because the stats don't say that. BTW, while I was on Google looking for that City Room entry, I just found out about an elderly who hit by a cyclists in San Francisco and died, but the cyclists wasn't charged. I won't be surprised if this will go unmentioned over in Streetsblog or probably just get buried as usual. Ty, by your logic, Hamas must not be a terrorist group, because they kill way fewer than either the IDF or Mossad ever does.
June 6, 2012, 7:52 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal --
They never say how it actually happened. How do we know that the person who was hit [by the bicycle] wasn't jaywalking or didn't look where he or she was going while either talking on their cellphones or listening on their ipods? How do we know that the [pedestrian] who got hit wasn't flouting any traffic laws? You will never know because the stats don't say that.


Yeah, Tal, I have always found it REALLY constructive to compare road users to terrorists organizations. Soooo constructive. Tal -- Do you know how many people are killed and the driver is not charged?? And often the driver doesn't even get a ticket.

Man, you're an idiot.
June 6, 2012, 9:48 pm
ty from pps says:
By the way -- I think 'by my logic' Hamas AND the IDF AND Mossad are terrorist organizations.

If you're so smart, you really should be able to follow a simple logical construction.
June 6, 2012, 9:49 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Well, the absence of refutation has proven the hypothesis: Tal hates bicycles because he is both shamed by his own lack of exercise and the sight of women in bike shorts pumping their legs, tempting him to sin (the harlots!). Combine that with the lack of affordable lithium pills, and we have the trifecta of a Troll!

Let's all pause and reflect on the more vulnerable members of our society, the orphan without means, the mother without support, and the Tal without meds. Let's all do what we can to help them get better.

Remember, if you like to bike, you HATE ISRAEL and therefore all JEWS, and you're a BAD person.
June 7, 2012, 11:56 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Scott, I don't hate bicycles, I hate those who use them to bolster their egos. What I do on my own time is none of your business hence my 9th amendment rights, which is the rights to privacy. Again, the real reason I said that using the numbers to make that claim reminds me of the anti-Israel crowd is because they used the same thing to call the Mossad state sponsored terrorists just because the numbers were higher of Hamas. Still, this is only looking at the effects rather than the causes, and the stats to those never say how Hamas puts their own people into harm's way whether it's using their own people as human shields or placing their bases in densely populated areas. If you asked me jaywalking and flouting laws with a bicycle is putting one into harm's way. Then again, to the anti-car crowd, especially those Streetsbloggers, they seem to like when they are placing themselves into harm's way as a good way to push their agenda. At least most motorists tend to stop on red lights when cyclists hardly ever do this. I am still waiting for ty's response to the elderly person in SF who was killed by a cyclists, but he will probably try to brush that aside and probably act the same way he did on Nancy Gruskind when her husband was killed by a cyclist.
June 7, 2012, 4:36 pm
Mike says:
I am increasingly convinced that Tal's posts are the output of a computer program.
June 7, 2012, 7:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, how do I know that you and all your bike zealot friends here are not computer programs, because I think that you just described yourself?
June 7, 2012, 8:32 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- I responded to you.... are you currently experiencing another one of your 'episodes'?? You should really go for a stroll on the golf course. Are you allowed out there? Or have you been banned because of all of your crazy -- ya know for the safety of yourself and others?
June 7, 2012, 8:38 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
ty I won't allow that insult to stand. I demand satisfaction so you will immediately retract calling me crazy or you will find a bailiff issuing you a summons by th end of the day today. I am sitting in front of my computer awaiting your reply. I am not going to take anymore of this vile abuse at the hands of a smug cyclist.
June 21, 2012, 12:04 pm
dm from gpoint says:
I wonder the number surveyed who know what the speed limit is actually?
Between Meeker and Nassua, there are 2 speed limit signs, both essentially non-viewable (one 1/2 down and hidden by trees on NB near Meeker, the other SB near Nassau, also VERY concealed by trees).
For starters, put them at every middle of road even, so trees can not obscure. Or over the road so no mistake it is seen..

Fighting speeding with no real visible speed limit signs does not make sense..Seems like a simple start can be made rather easily with jsut better signage.
July 5, 2012, 4:42 pm

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