City Council Member Vincent Ignizio has another red light camera bill — one that seems to be a variation on a failed bill from six years ago.
In addition to a bill that would require DOT to post warning signs where red light cameras are stationed, Ignizio last month introduced legislation that would mandate pedestrian countdown signals at those same intersections.
We’ll get to that second bill in a moment, but first some background. As we reported in February, Ignizio is known for opposing measures to make streets safer and improve transit. He wanted to subject NYC bike lanes to environmental review, and succeeded in erasing the bike lane on Father Capodanno Boulevard, watering down Select Bus Service on Hylan Boulevard to preserve parking, and degrading SBS service citywide by getting the MTA to shut off the flashing blue lights on all SBS buses.
Ignizio premised his pedestrian countdown bill on street safety. Here’s an excerpt from an Advance story that mentioned the bill:
The pedestrian countdowns have been shown to decrease crashes at intersections, and those with red light cameras have already been identified as high-risk spots.
“We’re deploying countdown clocks throughout the city, all I’m saying is deploy them in areas where you have red light cameras first,” Ignizio said.
A couple of things about this proposal don’t make sense. One, Ignizio is not a fan of automated traffic enforcement. In that same Advance story, he said of red light cameras, ”These ‘safety devices’ — in quotes — sometimes are causing more accidents than they’re trying to avoid.” In fact, NYC’s red light camera program has led to a significant drop in dangerous T-bone crashes – and if Ignizio thinks cameras are causing crashes, how would pedestrian countdown signals help?