Queens Lawmakers On The Move May 28, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Richards Applauds City Preparations To Expand School-Zone Speed Camera Program

City Council Member Donovan Richards

City Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens), Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, on Friday lauded Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement on Friday the city was making extensive preparations for the dramatic expansion of its school-zone speed camera program.

When the new state law takes effect on Thursday, July 11, the cameras’ total hours and days of operation will double – including by for the first time protecting children and senior pedestrians on summer weekdays and evenings.

The new law expands the maximum number of school zones from 140 to 750. The new law now sunsets in June of 2022 and requires annual progress reports to the legislature. Other major changes to the law include:

  • Doubling Speed Camera Hours: Speed cameras will now operate year-round on all weekdays between 6am until 10pm, including summer and school vacations. Previously, cameras’ hours were variable, and they could only operate during a given school’s active hours. DOT estimates that the law’s expansion will on its first day double the overall number of hours when speed cameras can issue summonses.
  • Extending Camera Zones: Cameras’ maximum distance from schools was expanded to a ¼ mile radius from a school, rather than the previous restriction that the camera be no more than a ¼ mile of a school along an abutting street. This change to the law allows cameras to be installed near hundreds more schools, including today along West End Avenue. In coming months, new cameras will be installed on other high-crash corridors across the five boroughs, including along 1st Avenue in Manhattan, Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island, Northern Boulevard in Queens and Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

Fines for speed-camera violations remain unchanged at $50, issued to those who exceed posted speed limits by more than 10 MPH. The notices of liability are issued by DOT via mail to the registrant of the vehicle – and are adjudicated at the New York City Department of Finance.

“New York City has made so much progress reducing traffic fatalities and so much of that progress can be credited to the use of speed cameras, but there are still far too many areas in the city that need measures to make streets safer for pedestrians,” said Richards.

“Every life lost is a tragedy, which is why it was critical that Albany renewed and expanded the program to protect New Yorkers from the next tragic accident. This rapid expansion is the right approach to slow down reckless drivers as soon as possible. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Trottenberg for their dedication to Vision Zero and the safety of all New York City residents and visitors.”

Lancman, Community Leaders Unveil Street Renaming to Honor Ramesh D. Kalicharran

City Councilman Rory Lancman.

Council Member Rory I. Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica), members of the Indian Diaspora Council International, and local leaders will held a street renaming ceremony this past Saturday in honor of the late Ramesh D. Kalicharran.

Kalicharran, known as “Kali,” was an influential and well-respected community leader. The Northwest Corner of 169th Street and Hillside Avenue will now be known as Ramesh D. Kalicharran “Kali” Way.

Lancman introduced the street co-naming resolution for Ramesh D. Kalicharran “Kali” Way last Dec. 20.

CM Miller, Colleagues Call on Congress to Permanently Fund the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Council Members I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens and St. Albans) and Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) will host a rally tomorrow in support of the Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act (H.R.1327/S.546).

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sponsored the legislation, which will make the VCF permanent, and provide full financing. The bill has earned the bipartisan support of nearly 300 congressional officials, and will be heard next month by the House Judiciary Committee.

Miller and Chin will introduce a council resolution calling on Congress to pass the bill to make the VCF permanent, and provide full financing.

The rally is slated for 12 noon, tomorrow, May 29 at Greenwich Street (between Fulton Street and Dey Street) directly across from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan.

Sanders To Host Free Legal Assistance for Senior Citizens

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway, Ozone Park, Jamaica) next Monday will host free legal services for senior citizens age 60 or older.

Sanders hosts the event the first Monday of every month. The program is conducted in partnership with Queens Legal Services for the Elderly, a part of the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA).

Assistance is available for the following issues:
Eviction Prevention
Housing Rights
Foreclosure Prevention
Property Fraud
Elder Abuse
Estate Planning Advice
Predatory Lending
Social Security, SSI, Medicare and Medicaid Eligibility

The event is slated for between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday, June 3 at Sanders’ district office, 142-01 Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park. Those interested must make an appointment by calling 718-523-3069.

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