DOT looks to install speed cameras for Riverdale area after residents launch petition

Riverdale residents launched a petition back in October asking the Department of Transportation to evaluate and help make their streets safer. Now, the DOT is looking to install speed cameras for the area.

News 12 Staff

Dec 3, 2020, 5:58 PM

Updated 1,265 days ago

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Riverdale residents launched a petition back in October asking the Department of Transportation to evaluate and help make their streets safer. Now, the DOT is looking to install speed cameras for the area.
Residents say the area is overrun by drag racing. Cellphone video captured the chaos at 237th Street and Independence Avenue last month.
Jessica Haller, a candidate to represent the 11th District in the New York City Council, says not much has changed safety-wise since she launched the Safe Streets petition back in October.
Residents say marks from donut circles have been multiplying over the last few months at the intersections on Independence Avenue.
"The cars come down and they’re speeding, doing donuts in the middle of the intersection, and so the problems are in the middle of the night, so we need the cameras to not just be school cameras but to be able to capture what’s going on,” said Haller.
Cameras may be coming to the area - the DOT says it will survey the area as a response to a request from Sen. Alessandra Biaggi.
The DOT says in part, “ DOT's Automated Enforcement Unit completed a review of the Senator's request and are now surveying the area to determine if a mobile speed enforcement deployment is feasible on Independence Avenue from West 232nd Street to West 246th Street, which is within 1/4 mile of a school."
Haller says it’s a good step but that more is needed. "We need both the cameras now and we need a long-term street design so that the streets don’t invite this behavior back,” said Haller.
Police say an assault was reported Monday night when a man was punched after recording a man drag racing at 236th Street and Independence Avenue.
No arrests were made, and the incident is still being investigated at this time. 
Sen. Alessandra Biaggi office issues a statement saying, "The presence of speeding and drag-racing on Independence Avenue near District 34 schools and community spaces was first brought to my attention by Community Board 8, and is an issue that my team has been monitoring. My office has served as a liaison between the Community Board and the appropriate City agencies, particularly the NYC Department of Transportation, to address the situation and come up with solutions. Most recently DOT has responded to my office's request for speed cameras along Independence Avenue where the problems are most persistent, and has agreed to survey the site for installation. This is only the first step in the process, and I look forward to it moving forward."


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