You are reading

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.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

3 men sought for armed robbery in East Elmhurst home invasion near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

The NYPD is looking for three men who allegedly robbed an East Elmhurst man of tens of thousands of dollars during a home invasion early Monday morning.

Police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights responded to a 911 call of an armed robbery at a townhouse located at 108-09 Ditmars Blvd. near 29th Avenue just south of LaGuardia Airport.
The victim had pulled up in front of his home just before 2 a.m. when he was approached by three suspects. One of them pulled out a firearm and forced him inside the townhouse where they stole around $30,000 in cash and a safe that contained an unspecified amount of jewelry, before exiting and driving off in a silver four-door SUV, police said.

Brooklyn man charged with manslaughter, DWI, for Astoria collision that killed his wife: DA

New details have emerged in the case against a Brooklyn man who allegedly crashed into several cars in Astoria last week while driving drunk, and then drove off in the wrecked vehicle to a residential block in Maspeth four miles away with a gravely injured passenger. The passenger turned out to be his wife, who later died, and the boozed driver told investigators that the couple was being followed when the collision occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

Rey Perez, 27, of Caton Avenue in Flatbush, was arraigned on Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other crimes for speeding through stop signs last Thursday morning, crashing into another vehicle and two parked cars, before speeding from the scene to Maspeth where he sought help for his wife, 29-year-old Bridget Enriquez, who later succumbed to her injuries.

Woman sought for slashing cabbie during a robbery near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

Police are searching for a woman who attacked a cab driver in East Elmhurst during a robbery more than two weeks ago.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 11 after the cabbie picked up the suspect in Manhattan. The driver told investigators that the woman initially wanted to be taken to LaGuardia Airport but instead decided to be dropped off  nearby in front of 89-00 23rd Ave. at around 2 a.m.