Local community members sat down with police personnel to discuss unresolved traffic concerns.
City Island Civic Association leaders met with NYPD officials to discuss plans to better handle traffic flow during peek months when visitors enjoy the island’s many restaurants by using camera technology.
The meeting took place at the 45th Precinct in mid-July.
Councilman Mark Gjonaj told the Bronx Times that he had allocated funding for several Argus traffic cameras, which can capture the license plates of automobiles to aid police investigations.
One of the cameras is slated for the City Island Bridge – the island’s only entry and exit point, he said.
“Just knowing that it is there and that ‘big brother’ is watching is going to be a [crime] deterrent,” said Gjonaj.
An Argus camera at the bridge could also be used to access traffic needs in real time from the precinct commanding officer’s desktop, said Gjonaj.
Bill Stanton, CICA president, said he is advocating for the placement of one of the Argus cameras at the bridge, where the plate reading mechanism would be a boon to police work.
Stanton said he believes that a plate reading camera at the City Island Bridge could be a crime deterrent.
“Regardless of my background in safety and security, I totally defer the placement of the camera to the precinct commander,” said Stanton. “I believe the decision has yet to be made, but I believe the entry and exit point onto City Island would be the obvious choice.”
The civic president said he believes that an Argus camera at the City Island Bridge would be a “gamechanger” in terms of public safety.
“Let’s say there is an armed robbery or an assault, this camera will aid in the police investigation and allow them to affect an arrest that much quicker,” explained Stanton.
The councilman said that a facial recognition featurecould also be a part of the Argus camera.
Stanton and Tom Smith, CICA treasurer, said the NYPD, which has had a strong traffic control presence on the island this summer, would continue posting six traffic control officers for the remaining weekends in August, and two Smart cars to maintain traffic flow on City Island Avenue.
Islander Dan Treiber, who started a petition calling for traffic agents on City Island for all of its busy seasons, from May to September, said more needs to be done.
“It is still a two-month solution to a five-month problem,” said Treiber of the traffic agent arrangement, adding “What happens when it is September 3rd and 85 degrees outside?”
The safety discussion comes on the heels of the recent installation of permanent bollards at the entrance to City Island Road from the Pelham Bay Park traffic circle, which will prevent drivers from cutting into the line of cars heading to the island.
John Doyle, CICA corresponding secretary, said that bollards were installed as part of a larger number of requests by the organization, and were originally recommended by Lauren Briggs.
“Sometimes there are three lanes of traffic trying to merge into one,” said Briggs of the spot where the bollards were installed, adding that when police are not present to put out traffic cones, the bollards will come in handy.