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. 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.
kastattoo Ink-lovers take note, KasTattoo, formerly of Coney Island Avenue, has been resurrected in a new storefront  on Avenue Z, half a mile away from their previous location. The new location, at 2103 Avenue Z, opened less than a month ago. It replaces the offices of ZRealty Services. The owner, Kas Vilkas, wrote to tell us to say that “everybody’s welcome.” His previous location at 2631 Coney Island Avenue. It was replaced by Tattoo Kulture when it closed its doors. Welcome back, KasTattoo, and good luck!
Kings Highway and Nostrand Avenue, the scene of the hit-and-run. (Source: Google Maps)

Kings Highway and Nostrand Avenue, the scene of the hit-and-run. (Source: Google Maps)

Police are looking for any information regarding a hit-and-run incident last week at Kings Highway and Nostrand Avenue. Two pedestrians were crossing the street at that intersection on September 17 at approximately 4:15pm when a blue SUV barreled through a red light. After hitting them both, the driver fled the scene. The victims were taken to Kings County Hospital, where they were listed in stable condition. Cops have little other information to go on, although they said one witness believed the vehicle was an Infiniti. 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.
Passengers prepare to board the Q35 at Riis Park Beach en route to Flatbush Avenue. Source: Ryan Janek Wolowski | Flickr

Passengers prepare to board the Q35 at Riis Park Beach en route to Flatbush Avenue. Source: Ryan Janek Wolowski | Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Regular readers of The Commute know that my favorite topic is the need for better bus routes. I have written about this on numerous occasions. We also often hear about reliability issues, a subject we have also addressed. The big push now by the MTA, the mayor, and New York City administrators is to greatly expand Select Bus Service (SBS), conceived more than 10 years ago, and first arriving in Brooklyn last year on the B44. The MTA recently sponsored a discussion at the Transit Museum about their plans to greatly expand SBS. I did not attend because I heard their spiel many times before. That SBS makes service better for everyone. Buses travel faster and everyone benefits. Ninety-nine percent of the SBS riders love it. We can’t afford to build any more subway lines (except in Manhattan, of course), so this is the answer for the next generation. I knew there would be no opportunity to challenge these claims. Continue Reading »
conaming

Elected officials, the NYPD, family and friends attended to honor the late Community Board chair.

Family, friends and community leaders gathered Wednesday to honor John E. Nikas, a longtime chairperson of Community Board 15 and former assistant to Governor Mario Cuomo. The intersection of East 12th Street and Sheepshead Bay Road, behind the 61st Precinct, received a new sign reading John E. Nikas Way in recognition of his community activism on what would have been his 81st birthday. In addition to his work on the Community Board and for the governor, Nikas, who passed away in 2011 at age 78, was remembered as a tireless community advocate who sought to help the less fortunate. Daily News writes:
He served three decades on the board of New York Community Hospital and co-founded a charity called Youth DARES, which helps at-risk kids and now annually serves more than 400 youngsters. “He wanted to make a difference for his children and grandchildren and for the community we live in,” said his wife, Rose Nikas.
 
Photo by Bob De Thomas

Photo by Bob De Thomas

Today’s beautiful submission is from a friend, former colleague and all-around nice guy. Photo by Bob De Thomas Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send it to [email protected].

Source: pamhule/Flickr

B LINE From 9:45am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, Brighton Beach-bound B trains run local from Prospect Park to Kings Hwy. Q LINE From 9:45am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, Manhattan-bound Q trains run express from Kings Hwy to Prospect Park. F LINE From 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, 179 St-bound F trains skip Van Wyck Blvd and Sutphin Blvd. From 12:01am to 5am, Tuesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to 21 St-Queensbridge. From 12:30am to 5am, Tuesday to Friday, 179 St-bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to 71 Av.
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.