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Source: NYCIBO

Source: NYCIBO

While the news that New York City will expand speed camera enforcement across the five boroughs was met with conspiratorial sneering from local drivers, revenue data suggests that the overall amount of funds collected for traffic fines has declined every year for the past four years despite the expansion of camera-enforcement programs.

That’s not to say there’s not money being made: the city pulled in more than $55 million in fiscal year 2014 (which ended on June 30), and 75 percent of that was from camera-based enforcement. The city budget for 2015 already presumes a jump to $62 million in revenue, with an even larger percentage coming from camera enforcement.

The New York City Independent Budget Office released a new infographic yesterday that charts the amount of revenue collected from traffic fines from 1999 to the present, and also shows the share of those collections that came via police-issued violations, red-light cameras, bus-lane cameras and the newest enforcement tool: speed cameras.

Some of the takeaways?

  • The proportion of revenue generated by cameras has grown from just 38 percent in 1999 to 75 percent in 2014.
  • The amount of revenue in 2014 is nearly double that collected in 1999. (Adjusted for inflation, the jump is less stark; the increase is just under $13 million.)
  • Since 2004, actual revenue from police-issued traffic violations has been on a steady decline, marginally offsetting some of the increases from camera enforcement.
  • Red-light camera revenues are the lowest they’ve been since 2007, the year before a massive expansion of the program, suggesting that camera enforcement won’t drive revenues forever.

There are two big spikes in the graph, one in 2008 and another in 2011.

The first coincided with an increase in the number of red light cameras installed around the city. After the increase, there’s a drop again. That’s probably because once drivers figure out where the cameras are, they make sure to abide by the law.

The 2011 spike came as a result of a ruling that unpaid red light summonses can count towards the threshold needed for the city to tow your car for unpaid tickets. Delinquent motorists who saw their cars impounded had to pay back those fines that year to reclaim their vehicles.

The two newest forms of camera revenue are also seeing pretty rapid growth as drivers have yet to adjust to them. Bus-lane cameras were introduced in 2011 as part of the Select Bus Service program. As that program has steadily expanded across the five boroughs, so has the number of cameras, and thus the number of violations.

Speed cameras were introduced in early 2014, with just 20 in school zones around the city. That led to $2.1 million in fines collected. But the program has been approved for massive expansion, with 120 new cameras on the way.

The city is projecting it will put $7.6 million in city coffers, but if the historical spikes from the expansion of red light cameras are any indication, it’ll probably rake in more than that before falling off over a few years.

So is it about money? It’s anybody’s guess. There’s definitely a historical increase in revenues collected but it’s not as staggering as one would think, given the massive expansion of these programs. And the data here suggests the gains appear short-lived as drivers learn to follow the rules of the road.

Here’s the above chart in an interactive format. Hover over each of the bars to see how much actual revenue was received for each method:

Source: Corcoran Group

Looking for a new place to call home? Bensonhurst Bean has got you covered. Our rental roundup is a new feature showcasing some of the deals on the market now. If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com. And if you live in or near one the places below, let neighbors know what you think in the comments.

One Bedroom Duplex in Gravesend
Price: $1,700
Location: 26 Highlawn Avenue
Description: Besides having two floors, this apartment also comes with two “oversized” balconies. Parking space comes with the rent.
Contact: Patrice Mack, Corcoran Group, (718) 923-8012

Two Bedrooms in Bensonhurst
Price: $1,750
Location: 81st Street between 21st Avenue and Bay Parkway
Description: With brand new appliances, sunny rooms and a big bathroom this apartment seems like a good choice. But heat and hot water are not included. And I recall once saying, in a moment of inspiration, that if a realtor ever tried to not include heat and hot water then the masses should rise up in revolt.
Contact:Svetlana Aksman, DSA Realty, (718) 629-8722

One Bedroom in Bensonhurst and Some Tile-Floor in Bensonhurst
Price: $1,100
Location: Bay 40th Street
Description: This apartment is a walk-in apartment and the floors aren’t wooden so go ahead and boogy away without worrying about scratching the floors. The kitchen is “modern.” So there’s no need to churn your own milk and you get one of those awesome devices with waves that are micro.
Contact: Johanna Gyuro, Johanna Gyuro Real Estate, (917) 838-1937

One Bedroom in Bath Beach
Price: $1,700
Location: 8610 18th Avenue
Description: While this apartment doesn’t have a dining room, it does have a “breakfast nook,” which is a cute way of saying there’s a corner in the kitchen that you could use if you don’t have a toaster. The realtor writes that the owner requires “great income.” Well, I think my income is pretty great and while we’re on the topic, it would be swell to get an even greater income. [Ed. -- Too bad.]
Contact: David Depass, Rapid Realty, (347) 410-4330

If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com.

17th Avenue and 58th Street, Brooklyn (Source; Google Maps)

17th Avenue and 58th Street, Brooklyn (Source; Google Maps)

A swastika and other hate-filled messages were found scrawled along several properties near 58th Street and 17th Avenue in Borough Park yesterday, leading to the quick arrest of three suspects.

The anti-Semitic graffiti included messages that read “you don’t belong,” and “get out.” The perps broke into a residential construction site and a yeshiva to leave their unwelcome marks, as well as spraying it on the side of a yeshiva school bus.

The graffiti was first found and reported by contractors at the construction site, where it was found on different walls within a second floor room.

An administrator of the yeshiva helped make the bust. School authorities found the graffiti inside of their building. Unknown to the perps was that their hate-fueled graffiti spree inside the school was caught on surveillance cameras, and the footage was shared with police.

Councilman David Greenfield, whose office provided the information for this post, notes that the investigators identified the three suspects from the footage, and arrested them yesterday evening.

“I am very pleased that the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force has made quick arrests of young punks trying to intimidate our community by scrawling messages of hate. It’s appalling that these guys would come into our neighborhood simply to spread their anti-Semitic views. I trust that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for their despicable crimes,” said Greenfield.

michael grimm blurred sweet 16

Source: Twitter via Business Insider

Embattled Congressman Michael Grimm reportedly flirted with swooning teenage girls at a Sweet 16 and promised to take one to her high school prom.

Business Insider reports:

Based on a series of since-deleted tweets, Grimm, who was once labeled one of the “sexiest bachelors in Congress” and one of the “most beautiful people” in Washington, made quite the impression among the teenage crowd.

“F***ing Michael Grimm is going,” one teen wrote on Twitter in a series of posts. “I’m gonna dance with him all night and make him fall in love with me.”

Grimm reportedly promised her that wouldn’t be their last encounter.

“He told me he’s taking me to prom I was like you fricking better,” the teen wrote.

Another teen quoted a conversation between some of the giggly gals:

“‘Michael Grimm is coming.’ ‘Oh sh** now I have to wear nice underwear,’” she wrote.

The congressman’s spokesperson told the outlet that the girl’s family are personal friends and he was invited to attend. The identity of all the girls have been redacted to protect their privacy as minors.

It is unknown if he threatened to throw any of the teenage males at the party off of a balcony or break them like boys.

Screenshot of the Vision Zero map.

Screenshot of the Vision Zero map.

When we told you last month about the interactive Vision Zero map the Department of Transportation launched, there were just a few user-created bubbles identifying local traffic safety issues in our area. There’s a bunch more now, which we’ll take full credit for, but our neighborhood still pales in comparison to the contributions of northern Brooklyn neighborhoods and Bay Ridge.

C’mon, guys. Are we really going to let Bay Ridge and Fort Greene hog all that DOT attention? No way!

Fortunately, there’s still some time to share our complaints. Neighbors have until July 31 to add intersection-specific concerns.

Overall, the map has received more than 7,500 tips from around the five boroughs. The information will be used for traffic planning to ease congestion and make streets safer for everybody – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, alike. From a DOT statement:

Input is vital, especially from those familiar with local traffic conditions and people’s behavior. The comments will be used to shape robust borough-specific traffic safety plans that will guide future work as part of Mayor de Blasio’s goal to eliminate traffic fatalities.

To add a complaint to the map, click this link, zoom in to the area, and click on an intersection as identified by white bubbles.  The map will then split to a street view, and in the bottom left there’s a button that says “Share an issue.” Click that, and fill out the form that pops up.

That’s it! The tool lets you share concerns about a host of issues, from speeding and red-light running, to bad biker behavior, and intersections where it just takes too darn long to cross the street.

Remember, as in all things city government-related, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And we like grease. So squeak away.

Source: MichaelTapp/Flickr

D LINE

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday, northbound D trains run local from 145 St to Fordham Rd.

From 11:45 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Coney Island-bound D trains run express from Tremont Av to 145 St.

All times: Coney Island-bound D trains skip 182-183 Sts.

N LINE

All times until October 2014: there are no N or R trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late-night N (11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend R trains operate via the Manhattan Bridge. No service at Jay St-MetroTech, Court St, Whitehall St, Rector St, Cortlandt St, and City Hall. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

R LINE

From 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Friday, there are no R trains in Brooklyn between 59 St and 36 St – take the N. R trains run between Bay Ridge-95 St and 59 St, Brooklyn.

All times until October 2014: there are no N or R trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late-night N (11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend R trains operate via the Manhattan Bridge. No service at Jay St-MetroTech, Court St, Whitehall St, Rector St, Cortlandt St, and City Hall. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

F LINE

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Wednesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to 21 St-Queensbridge.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Wednesday to Friday, F service operates in two sections:

  1. Between 179 St and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts A/G station – the last stop.
  2. Between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and Stillwell Av.
    • To continue your trip, transfer at Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts.

From 12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m., Wednesday to Friday, 179 St-bound F trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to Roosevelt Av.

Source: Ibagli via Wikimedia Commons

Source: Ibagli via Wikimedia Commons

A Staten Island man stabbed his wife before driving to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, abandoning his car and taking a fatal plunge on Sunday, say police.

Cops were called to the bridge at 8:43 a.m. for an abandoned 2012 Hyundai Genesis on the Brooklyn-bound upper-level, and witnesses said they saw a man exit the vehicle and jump from the bridge, according to SILive.

Coast Guard rescuers recovered the man’s body just before 9:00 a.m., and he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Less than 10 minutes before that call, at 8:36 a.m., 911 operators were fielding another about a stabbing in Staten Island’s Willowbrook neighborhood.

SILive reports:

Once there, cops discovered a 51-year-old woman with two stab wounds to her torso.

Three children, ages 9, 14 and 15, were inside the home when police arrived, authorities said, and one of the children made the initial 911 call. None of the children were injured, police said.

Police could not immediately say what time the stabbing occurred.

The car found on the bridge was the same as the one owned by the victim’s husband, and in which he was seen fleeing the home.

The woman was taken to Staten Island Hospital, where she is in critical condition.

Police have not yet released the identity of the husband or wife.

Source: mikey k/Flickr

Source: mikey k/Flickr

Police took a 54-year-old man into custody on Saturday after finding the body of his 62-year-old brother in the bathtub of his Luna Park co-op, with chemical burns to his chest and leg.

Cops were called to the scene at 8:46 a.m. following a 911 call for a man in need of help. It’s unclear who called the police, but when they arrived at the ninth floor apartment at 2819 West 12th Street the man attempted to block their entrance.

After a struggle, they restrained the man who authorities described as emotionally disturbed.

Once inside, cops discovered the unconscious and unresponsive body in the bathtub and called EMS. Medical responders declared him dead at the scene, and told the police that the male had chemical burns to the chest and leg.

The 54-year-old was taken to Staten Island University Hospital for psychological evaluation and treatment of chemical burns on his arms.

Neither of the men were identified by police, and the 54-year-old has not been charged with a crime.

The New York Times identified the two as brothers, and police told the paper that they’re struggling to get answers from the surviving sibling.

“Some of the stuff he’s saying doesn’t make sense,” a police department spokesman said.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of the death, and police are still investigating.

Source: dtanist/Flickr

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) is our new Sunday feature, giving you a place to find some of the big stories you may have missed this past week.

Of course, you can keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood all week long. Just follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Here are the big stories on Bensonhurst Bean from July 7 – 12:

Sheesh, what a lineup. Here’s hoping for less grisly news this coming week.

Source: Jon Chevier™/Flickr

D LINE

From 6:45 a.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday, Manhattan-bound D trains run express from Bay Pkwy to 9 Av.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound D trains skip 182-183 Sts.

N LINE

All times until October 2014: No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

R LINE

From 6:30 a.m. to 12 midnight, Saturday and Sunday, R service is extended to the 179 St F station.

All times until October 2014: No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

F LINE

From 9:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Jamaica-bound F trains are rerouted via the E after 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, F trains run local in Queens.