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New Yorkers are asking our elected officials to come up big on two key issues affecting people’s safety and their neighborhoods’ physical integrity. Unfortunately, in each case, our leaders, so far, are failing us. We’re talking about preserving speed cameras outside of schools and the need to add neighborhood protections around the planned “Tech Hub” on E. 14th St.

That 120 of 140 speed cameras could go dark last week was an outrage, and is obviously putting the lives of children and others at risk. The day after the legislation expired, the New York Post, using a speed gun, confirmed drivers were already speeding again outside a school. Twenty other speed cameras are set to go dark at August’s end.

Councilmember Carlina Rivera, left, and state Senator Brian Kavanagh, to the right of her, were among local politicians calling for the state Senate to keep the school speed cameras on at a press conference on July 17. To their right are advocates whose family members were killed by cars. Other politicians speaking at the press conference included Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Harvey Epstein and Public Advocate Letitia James. Photos by The Villager

Statistics show the cameras have reduced speeding and saved lives. The Assembly has pushed to double their number, but the state Senate has blocked the bill’s passage, with Simcha Felder trying to tack on adding an armed police officer in every school — a total nonstarter. Meanwhile, Marty Golden, another obstacle in the Senate, is a chronic scofflaw who has been caught speeding by the cameras numerous times.

No question, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan could well have blood on his hands if he doesn’t call his members back to Albany ASAP, at least to extend the speed cameras and turn them back on, or better yet, increase their number.

On the Tech Hub, Mayor de Blasio is simply not heeding the requests of the community and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera and her predecessor, Rosie Mendez. Certainly, that this 21-story building would include several floors for a digital-skills training center benefiting locals is terrific.

But based on a July 10 hearing of the City Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, the administration is not budging on those requests.

At a July 10 City Council hearing on the “Tech Hub,” members of the public in the audience fluttered “jazz hands” (used at hearings when audience members are requested not to applaud and cheer disruptively) to show approval for testimony given by former Councilmember Rosie Mendez, who urged that neighborhood protections, such as zoning and landmarking, be put in place as a condition for approval of needed zoning variances for the project.

Rivera is pushing for a fourth floor to be earmarked for the digital-skills center, plus wants assurances it would actually be a place where the people she sees “walking down Avenue D” would be welcome and helped. Meanwhile, she and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are begging de Blasio to ensure the surrounding wedge of neighborhood to the south, east and west is protected with zoning and / or landmarking, so the Tech Hub would not ratchet up local development pressure even higher. That pressure is real, as witnessed by the new building additions along that stretch of Broadway, or the new tower on the former Bowlmor site on University Place.

In one encouraging takeaway, we learned that the crane would be sited inside the project’s footprint, so as not to impact traffic on 14th St., which would already be impacted by the L train shutdown. Maybe that’s a feasible model for other 14th St. projects, such as the two at Sixth Ave.

The Council subcommittee is set to vote on the needed zoning changes this Thurs., Aug. 2, at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Land Use Committee the next day, and the full Council Aug. 8. Those dates could shift, but, due to the ULURP clock, the final vote will happen in the next couple of weeks.

De Blasio must listen to the community and make the right call, so that it can be a win-win for everyone to be proud of.

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