City Island residents voice support for new speed camera in the neighborhood

P.S. 175 on City Island.
File/Courtesy of John Doyle

In 2019 the New York City Department of Transportation approved a speed camera installation for P.S. 175 on City Island and this summer, the agency installed the new safety measure.

Civic group City Island Rising along with elected officials Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto pushed for the camera to be placed in the school zone.

“This is one potential source to curb speeding,” said City Island Rising President John Doyle. “We’re looking to improve pedestrian safety.”

Residents spoke with the Bronx Times about the need for the camera in front of the school. P.S. 175 Parent Teacher Association (PTA) President Kevin Fisher felt that it will benefit the community.

“I am appreciative of the efforts of City Island Rising and Mr. Doyle, as traffic and speeding along City Island Avenue has been dangerous for locals and visitors alike,” Fisher said.

Fisher recalled a close call with people racing through a red light at the school to get to a nearby marina, narrowly missing neighborhood kids.

While the camera has only been installed for a little more than two months, Fisher hopes once the pandemic ends and life resumes, people will be able to fully experience its benefits.

“Irresponsible and reckless driving has nothing but downside effects,” Fisher stated. “City Island can be a great place to visit local shops, great dining and escape from the day to day pressures, but it is also a living, working community. We need to keep everyone safe. Rushing through the neighborhood isn’t good for anyone.”

With a child who attends the second grade at P.S. 175, the camera made Fisher feel more at ease. Speeding itself is dangerous, but in front of a school, one would think people would slow down, he said.

While he isn’t a fan of a “robotic police state,” he would like to see how it works in the long run.

Beverly Jones, who has an 8-year-old son and lives a block and a half from the school, felt better knowing that there is a speed camera in front of the school. She said that hopefully, the camera actually gets people to slow down.

She has seen numerous cars fly past the school without any regard for people. Like Fisher, Jones realized it will take time to see if it really will bring change.

“It shouldn’t be so scary to cross the street for kids and family,” she said. “I think the speed camera really will help.”