Archive for the tag 'ocean pkwy'

A DOT speed-enforcement camera sits at this location, fining people who fail to slow down after exiting the highway. (Source: Google Maps)

A DOT speed-enforcement camera sits at this location, fining people who fail to slow down after exiting the highway. (Source: Google Maps)

A Department of Transportation spokesperson refuted Councilman Chaim Deutsch’s claim that a local speed enforcement camera gave out 6,000 violations in a single day. But in a bizarre e-mail exchange, the agency spokesperson refused to provide the actual peak number, instead giving a randomly selected count that was revealed to be below the peak. (Update: The DOT said Wednesday morning that they issued 1,551 violations on July 7, suggesting that that is the peak date.)

Sheepshead Bites first reported yesterday that the controversial camera, at the base of a Belt Parkway exit ramp on Shore Parkway near Ocean Parkway, doled out approximately 6,000 violations in just one day, according to Deutsch.

The agency’s spokesperson contacted Sheepshead Bites this morning, stating that the number of violations that was publicized was incorrect, and that they would follow up with the correct number. The press officer later said that 1,015 violations were issued on the day being discussed.

Neither Sheepshead Bites nor Councilman Deutsch had specified the date in which 6,000 violations were allegedly issued.

Sheepshead Bites requested further information from the Department of Transportation spokesperson, including the date they sampled from and the number of violations given on the peak day since the camera was implemented.

The Department of Transportation spokesperson said the number given was from July 29, and that the highest number around that date was 1,266; the press officer added that most days were under 1,100. Though asked, the rep would not say if that encompassed the entire time period in which the camera was active.

We asked for the significance of the July 29 date; the spokesperson said it was given as an example. The rep did not say why they chose that date, or why they plucked a date that their own numbers suggested was below average.

Sheepshead Bites pressed on, asking for the number of violations given on the day in which the most violations were given, going back to the date of implementation.

The agency repeated their claim that the Council member was never told the number of violations issued in one day was 6,000.

Despite two additional follow-ups, the agency flack has not stated the number of violations issued on the peak day. After an attempt by the spokesperson to change the subject of the inquiry, the spokesperson has since stopped responding to our emails.

Deutsch, who supports the use of the camera on the condition that the DOT add signage to give drivers a fair chance, declined to comment on the DOT’s rebuttal. Instead, he said, it’s more important that the streets be made safe.

“When someone gets hurt or someone gets killed in a car accident, their families don’t look at statistics,” he said. “At the end of the day we need to make sure our roads are safe.”

Camera enforcement at that location remains in effect.

UPDATE (September 24 @ 10am): The Department of Transportation spokesperson told Sheepshead Bites this morning that 1,551 violations were issued on July 7, suggesting that this was the peak date.

A DOT speed-enforcement camera sits at this location, fining people who fail to slow down after exiting the highway. (Source: Google Maps)

DOT speed-enforcement camera sits at this location, fining people who fail to slow down after exiting the highway. (Source: Google Maps)

That’s some fast money.

The speed enforcement camera stationed at the base of a Belt Parkway exit ramp near Ocean Parkway issued approximately 6,000 violations in just one day, earning the city about $300,000 in revenue, according to Councilman Chaim Deutsch.

The camera earned notoriety earlier this month when Sheepshead Bites revealed its location on Shore Parkway between Ocean Parkway and West Avenue, at the very end of a 400-foot-long exit ramp from the Belt Parkway. Locals and Councilman Mark Treyger expressed outrage at the placement, calling it a trap. But the numbers have led Councilman Chaim Deutsch, in whose district the camera is located, to hail it as a success.

“There were 6,000 summonses issued in one day coming off the Belt Parkway. Now it is almost to zero, so the camera is helping,” Deutsch told members of the Manhattan Beach Community Group at a public meeting last week. “But we still want to make sure that people slow down, [that they] have enough time to slow down carefully when they come off the ramp.”

The cameras photograph any vehicles traveling faster than 10mph over the speed limit and send a violation in the mail within 30 days. The fine is $50.

Approximate location of the camera, between the exit and entrance ramps. (Source: Google Maps)

Approximate location of the camera, between the exit and entrance ramps. (Source: Google Maps)

Deutsch brushed off concerns that the camera could be a speed trap, saying that the steep reduction in the weeks it has been there shows that drivers are changing their behavior. To make sure it’s not all about revenue, he’s urging the Department of Transportation to add signage on the Belt Parkway just before the ramp indicating that there is a speed camera in the vicinity.

“I support that if anyone is speeding, enormous amount of speeds, they deserve a summons,” Deutsch told Sheepshead Bites. “But I dont want it to be a ‘gotcha’ camera, and people need to be aware there’s a camera and they should exit the ramp safely.”

He also said that while locals have learned the location and adjusted accordingly, the next season of visitors to Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay would benefit from the early warning while also achieve the goal of safer driving.

“Coming next summer when people come to visit the waterfront communities you’re going to have new people coming in, fresh faces to the area, so at the end of the day you want to slow traffic down when they come off the ramp,” he said. He also doesn’t want drivers slamming on the brakes when they see the camera at the last moment. “They’ll slam on the brakes. So if you have signage several hundred feet before the ramp it gives the driver a chance to slow down and get off safely.”

He said the DOT is studying his proposal.

The DOT did not return several messages requesting confirmation of Deutsch’s numbers, or whether or not they were considering additional signage.

Previously, the DOT told Sheepshead Bites they were not currently planning to relocate the cameras as Councilman Treyger had requested. They added that, at 400 feet long, the Belt Parkway’s exit ramp provided drivers with sufficient space to safely reduce speed.

UPDATE (September 23 @ 4:15pm): A Department of Transportation spokesperson said Deutsch’s claim is incorrect, but refused to reveal the peak number.

UPDATE (September 24 @ 10am): The Department of Transportation spokesperson told Sheepshead Bites this morning that 1,551 violations were issued on July 7, suggesting that this was the peak day.

It looks like the heat and humidity got to some folks in Brighton Beach.

A video posted on Youtube this morning captures a vehicle as it goes from being double parked on one side of the street, bolts across both lanes of traffic and slams into another parked car on the other side. Then two men emerge from the driver’s side door and begin pummeling each other. One eventually pins the other to the ground as cries of “Call 911!” ring out.

According to RussianParentsWorld, the video was captured by a Russian tourist. It appears he was simply filming a drive through Little Odessa to share the sights with his friends back home when he accidentally captured the crash and brawl. It’s not clear exactly when the accident happened.

In the video, just before the car takes off into oncoming traffic, the camera briefly pans to the vehicle and you can see one man entering the driver’s side. Another man in a white shirt is just behind him. The camera pans away, and returns briefly to show the man in the white shirt apparently struggling to get into the driver’s side as well. It looks as if it was either a car theft gone wrong, or an unfortunate end to an altercation that began long before the filming started.

Regardless, it doesn’t seem that any bystanders were hurt, thankfully. We’re reaching out to the police for any information. If you were there or know what happened, let us know in the comments or by emailing editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

UPDATE (2:00pm): It looks like Gothamist beat us to this by mere minutes, and had the details from police. It was a failed robbery attempt. They write:

Shortly after noon [Sunday], police say that the victim, a 23-year-old man, was deceived into giving Ahmed Hassan $50 while Hassan’s car idled on Brighton Beach Avenue near Ocean Parkway. According to the NYPD, Hassan tried to leave, and the victim jumped into Hassan’s car to stop him.

… The victim was transported to Coney Island hospital with minor injuries. Hassan, 22, was charged with robbery. No other injuries were reported.

Thanks to Svetlana Tk for pointing out the Gothamist post.

A DOT speed-enforcement camera sits at this location, fining people who fail to slow down after exiting the highway. (Source: Google Maps)

A DOT speed-enforcement camera sits at this location, fining people who fail to slow down after exiting the highway. (Source: Google Maps)

While opponents of a camera-enforced speed trap on a Belt Parkway exit ramp cry foul, the Department of Transportation says “tough luck.”

The agency said it has no plans to move the speed enforcement camera placed on Shore Parkway at the end of the highway’s Ocean Parkway exit ramp, despite complaints from neighbors and a local City Council member that it’s unfair and undermines the program’s credibility.

A spokesperson for DOT would not confirm the placement of the camera, saying it’s the agency’s policy not to disclose camera locations. However, the spokesperson added that there are no plans to relocate any cameras in Southern Brooklyn.

Moreover, the spokesperson disputed the assertion that it’s a “gotcha” location, noting that the ramp is approximately 400 feet long, enough distance to slow down from highway speeds, and that a sign has been placed indicating that the speed limit is 30 miles per hour.

Violations are not issued to motorists going 10 miles or less over the speed limit, the spokesperson added.

That answer isn’t good enough, said Councilman Mark Treyger. The pol’s office has been flooded with complaints from ticket recipients and yesterday he called on the agency to move the camera closer to Ocean Parkway.

“I don’t think that [the DOT] even addressed my concern. No residents asked them to measure the length of the exit ramp,” said Treyger. “We didn’t ask them to measure how long it is. We asked them, in the interest of public safety, to move it where pedestrians are actually using [a crosswalk].”

Treyger said he’s going to appeal to the agency to reconsider the location. His office will also begin notifying residents to be aware of the camera.

The councilman, a former school teacher, said the placement of the camera does little to protect students at nearby Lincoln High School or other pedestrians, since it’s not placed near a pedestrian crosswalk.

“To my knowledge I don’t believe any pedestrians are crossing near exit ramps for highways,” Treyger said. There is no sidewalk on the highway side of Shore Parkway where the camera is placed.

By moving it just a few hundred feet up the block to the Ocean Parkway intersection, they can catch motorists who are speeding through crosswalks. The current placement instead has the appearance of enforcement for revenue-generating purposes, the pol suggested.

“The goal of the speed cameras is to protect public safety and make sure people are abiding by laws. But when you place them in these ‘gotcha’ locations it really threatens to undermine the credibility of this program. We want to save lives, but ‘gotcha’ locations in my opinion don’t accomplish that goal,” he said.

Clarification (3:00 p.m.): The camera itself is in Councilman Chaim Deutsch’s district, not Treyger’s – although many affected by it are in Treyger’s district. We are reaching out to Deutsch’s office as well.

camera-1

Neighbors are crying foul over what appears to be a high-tech speed trap, after learning that the Department of Transportation placed a speed enforcement camera where they say speeding is unavoidable.

The camera is placed adjacent to Lincoln High School on Shore Parkway, between West Avenue and Ocean Parkway. It’s perched just above where the Belt Parkway exit ramp leads into the service road – catching drivers while they’re still decelerating from highway speeds.

“This camera seems to be conveniently placed so close to the exit ramp that you are almost guaranteed to set off this speed trap,” said neighbor Connie C., who was shocked to find a $50 ticket in the mail for a July 22 drive past the location. “[It's] positioned right in between the exit ramp and the entrance ramp, so basically they have you either way. As you are accelerating to get onto the ramp to enter the highway or coming off the highway at 50mph. I thought is seemed quite fishy.”

(UPDATE [September 4, 2014]: The DOT will not relocate the camera. Read that story here.)

Approximate location of the camera, between the exit and entrance ramps. (Source: Google Maps)

Approximate location of the camera, between the exit and entrance ramps. (Source: Google Maps)

Connie, who said she generally supports the use of speed cameras, isn’t the only neighbor to notice. Councilman Mark Treyger’s office said they’ve received numerous complaints and the pol is outraged at the apparent money grab.

“The role of speed cameras is to reduce speeding and increase safety in appropriate locations around our neighborhood. They should not be placed in locations like the start of an exit ramp because this ‘gotcha’ location plays into fears of many that these cameras are solely revenue generating machines,” said Treyger.

The pol is urging the DOT to move the camera closer to Ocean Parkway, where they’ll have more time to slow down after exiting the highway.

“Speed cameras can have an important role to play in our efforts to eliminate fatalities on city streets, but placing them in highly questionable locations threatens to undermine this program’s credibility,” he said.

Per a report this week, there are 23 active speed cameras operating near school intersections. They’ve issued 183,000 tickets since the first cameras came online in January. That number is about to skyrocket to 140 total speed cameras after Albany approved the expansion earlier this year.

The Department of Transportation did not return a request for comment on this article. The DOT said they will not move the camera, as the 400-foot-long ramp provides enough room to slow down safely.

Source: NYPD

Source: NYPD

An unidentified teen waited for the Q train to pull into the Ocean Parkway station, snatched an unsuspecting straphanger’s iPhone and bolted, according to police.

The August 10 incident took place at approximately 10:50 a.m. Cops say the suspect waited on the platform until a southbound train pulled in. He then entered a train car and grabbed the device out of the hands of a 19-year-old woman before fleeing the station.

Surveillance video captured his escape, and now police are sharing photos in their search for the perp. He is wanted for grand larceny.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.

Cell phone theft remains one of the leading crimes in New York City. Sheepshead Bites reminds our readers that the following tips can go a long way in keeping a cell phone in your hands, and not those of a thief:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings when using your device. Avoid flashing it in public, using it while walking down dark streets alone, etc.
  • Avoid using it on the subway altogether. More than 70 percent of thefts occur on the subway. If you must use it, try not to do so near the car doors.
  • Activate your phone’s security features, such as the lock screen.
  • Install/activate a phone locator app, such as Find my iPhone.
  • Register your phone with the NYPD. Operation I.D. allows residents to register their phone’s serial number with the name and contact information, so that if a phone is found it can be returned. More information is available here.
Source: Lisa Miller

Source: Lisa Miller

Cyclists finished off the Investors Bank Bike 4 Friendship Tour on Sunday, a 3,000 mile trek that ended in Brighton Beach.

The event kicked off 38 days ago in Los Angeles, led by Brooklynite Yitzy Smith and his six teammates. They crossed the finish line at Ocean Parkway in the early afternoon, completing the fourth annual event that this year raised more than $150,000 for Friendship Circle International, which joins teenage volunteers with children who have special needs.

The team averaged more than 80 miles a day as they crossed desserts, mountains, woods and plains. When they arrived in Livingston, New Jersey, they were joined by nine cross-country cyclists known as the Legends Team, who completed the full trip in previous years.

Update (5:30 p.m.): It looks like Brooklyn Brief was on this story, too, and had a bit more info on the cyclists:

An incredible journey on its own, some of the team members are also BK natives with their own unique personal stories. Yitzy Smith has now completed the trip twice, which is almost unheard of, even in the world of competitive cycling. Aaron Black is one of the youngest riders ever, at age 17. And Mendy Rapoport came all the way from Israel to participate.

Sunny Skies

Source: Sunny Skies

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the preliminary recipients of $340 million in pre-kindergarten funding yesterday, including a couple in our area - Brighton Beach’s Sarah Winner Group Family Day Care and Sunny Skies Preschool.

Provided state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli approves the awards, Sarah Winner Group Family Day Care (2997 Ocean Parkway) will land $120,000 from the state and Sunny Skies Coney Island (2585 Coney Island Avenue) will receive $300,000 as part of a program that is awarding hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for 81 school districts and community-based organizations across the state.

The funding, which is included in the 2014-15 state budget, is the first installment in the governor’s commitment to invest $1.5 billion over the next five years to build a statewide universal full-day pre-kindergarten program.

The city Department of Education is slated to land nearly $300 million to build its universal pre-kindergarten program for all 4-year-olds in the city – which stems from Cuomo’s promise to pay for such a program in lieu of Mayor Bill de Blasio raising taxes to pay for it, as the mayor had originally aimed to do upon taking office.

The funds slated for private daycare operators are to fill the gap in the number of seats required to meet the need, which the Department of Education alone does not have the space for.

“Training and educating young minds is one of the smartest investments we can make as a state, as studies demonstrate that pre-kindergarten has a long lasting, positive influence on our children’s education and future success,” Cuomo said in his press release. “The state budget this year included a major investment in early education, putting New York state on the path to become just the fourth state in the nation to establish universal full day pre-K. The awards we are announcing today will enable tens of thousands of children to attend pre-K classes, and represent another step in the State’s work to prepare our students to compete in the 21st century economy.”

As part of state and city officials push for a full-day pre-kindergarten program, numerous lawmakers and educators, including Cuomo and de Blasio, stressed that studies have shown that children who participate in early education programs are more likely to read at grade level and graduate from high school than those who do not.

“We are proud to have Governor Cuomo as a strong partner in making pre-K for All a reality for the children of New York City,” de Blasio said in the same release. “This funding represents a powerful commitment by the State to build a new, stronger education foundation that will transform our schools. We are working tirelessly to make good on this opportunity to deliver new pre-K options, improve existing ones and build a high-quality system that lifts up every child.”

The full list of recipients of the $340 million is available here.

Source: Gregory Maizous

Source: Gregory Maizous

Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) nabbed Healthgrades 2014 Maternity Care Excellence Award, marking the third consecutive year it has been recongized as one of the best hospitals for mothers and their offspring during and after childbirth.

Healthgrades is an organization that evaluates and ranks healthcare services at hospitals across the nation. The rankings for maternity care are based on an analysis of complications due to vaginal deliveries and C-sections, newborn mortality rates and percentage of newborns with low birth weight.

The Maternity Care Excellence Award is given to the top 10 percent of best performing hospitals for services to mothers and for the care of their newborn babies. According to Healthgrades, patients treated at Coney Island Hospital had a 54.4 percent lower risk of complications during natural delivery, and a 77.6 percent lower risk during C-section deliveries than those treated at low-ranking hospitals. It won the same recognition in 2012 and 2013.

“We are extremely proud to receive this distinction for the third year in a row which shows our consistency of providing high-quality care for women in Brooklyn during their pregnancy and childbirth, and the care of their newborn babies,” said Arthur Wagner, Coney Island Hospital’s executive direct, in a press release.

The hospital operates a dedicated Women’s Health Center, basically a one-stop shop for in- and out-patient needs, including labor and delivery, general obstetric and gynecological care, family planing and more.

Source: dtanist/Flickr

A man died early Friday morning after he jumped in front of a Q train in Brighton Beach, the Daily News reports.

The man, who police said was in his mid 40s, apparently threw himself in front of the southbound Q train as it rolled into the Ocean Pkwy. station shortly after midnight on Friday, police said.

The man was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital.

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