New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently expressed support for measures that would allow New York City to add speed cameras without permission from the state legislature—a move that transit activists and city policymakers have long been advocating for. According to a recent report by StreetsBlog, the governor’s comments came during an event with local publication City & State, and distinguished her from former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Hochul reportedly said in part, “Why does the state legislature and the governor have to weigh in on whether or not a school district in the city of New York has speed cameras in school zones? Tell me why that has to be relegated to an issue that becomes a political football at the end of a session in terms of extracting promises, concessions. I don’t want to govern that way.”
As StreetsBlog notes, the outgoing de Blasio Administration has spent several years advocating for the city to maintain control of its speed cameras, and has requested state legislators to give it the power to run school zone speed cameras “on a 24/7 basis, instead of only during weekdays and only during certain hours.” A bill that would have provided local control of school zone speed cameras was introduced in the state legislature last year, but stalled in committee.
Hochul reportedly added that her administration was committed to identifying “ways that we can start empowering the local governments, empowering the cities and the counties to do what they do best,” according to StreetsBlog. “So yes, there is enormous power in this in the governor’s office right now, you can either abuse that power, or you can use it to benefit the state,” she said. “I’m going to use this to benefit the people to state and where it makes sense, return the power to the local governments.”
More information on Hochul’s comments, and the push for local control of speed cameras in New York City, is available via StreetsBlog.