Technology Would Ease Jams, Accidents & Emissions

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the common sense alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, held Monday morning news conferences in Staten Island and Queens to announce, that as mayor, she would initiate a plan to convert New York City’s aging traffic grid to one that uses Smart Light technology to facilitate traffic flowing and reduce emissions. The plan could cost $1 billion dollars if all of the City’s traffic signals can be converted.

Smart Light Technology combines traditional traffic lights with high tech sensors and artificial intelligence to create a traffic control system that measures traffic flow and instantaneously adjusts the timing of the traffic lights to manage changing traffic patterns, ease congestion and reduce accidents and emissions. Assemblywoman Malliotakis called the technology, “a step into the 21st Century that most New York City motorists would feel is long overdue.”

According to the New York City Department of Transportation’s website – as of June 30, 2011, there were 12,460 intersections with traffic signals citywide, including 2,820 in Manhattan, 1,605 in the Bronx, 4,371 in Brooklyn, 3,119 in Queens and 545 in Staten Island.

Over the years, New York City has initiated several pilot projects to increase traffic flow. In 2009, Smart Light technology was installed at the intersection of Victory Boulevard at the entrance to the College of Staten Island, which, at the time, was a notoriously congested intersection. Since that pilot program, NYC DOT with the support of the Borough President’s office and the Staten Island Council delegation, installed Smart Light technology at 6 more Staten Island intersections:

• Victory Boulevard at the West Shore Expressway
• South Avenue at the West Shore Expressway and Chelsea Road
• South Avenue at the Staten Island Expressway
• Boscombe Avenue by entrance of Korean War Veterans Parkway
• Clove Road at the Staten Island Expressway
• Richmond Road and Targee Street at Staten Island Expressway

Assemblywoman Malliotakis wants to expand the use of this technology throughout the city with Staten Island and Queens being prioritized due to of their dependency on private vehicles. 84% of Staten Island households and 64% of Queens households own at least 1 car.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “New York City is famous for its traffic; whether its holiday season gridlock in midtown, after school jam-ups on Staten Island or motorist filling Queens Streets as they approach the entrance ramps to the Ed Koch-59th Street Bridge. City motorists and bus riders know to allot extra travel time for sitting in traffic. New York City ranks 2nd in the nation for road rage – but that doesn’t have to be the case. Smart Light technology is currently keeping traffic flowing at 7 locations on Staten Island.”

City Councilman Steven Matteo said, “The one-size-fits-all approach of Vision Zero does not work on Staten Island, nor in parts of other outer boroughs, where public transportation is inadequate and cars and buses are the only plausible way for residents to get around. That is why I have taken a street-by-street, intersection-by-intersection approach to solving local traffic problems, and that includes successfully advocating for more smart lights. Smart lights are easy to install and most importantly, extremely effective traffic control measures. They have improved traffic flow and helped make several problematic intersections in this borough safer for both motorists and pedestrians. I think we should be looking at more ways to implement smart lights and other technology that increases traffic safety and efficiency rather than finding more ways to penalize drivers.”
City Council candidate (CD 30-Queens) Robert Holden said, “Under Mayor de Blasio’s administration, traveling by car or bus in New York City has turned into a daily nightmare. The installation of New Smart Traffic Light Technology is imperative to drastically reduce traffic congestion and pollution. Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis’s plan is a giant step in the right direction for New York City.”

Malliotakis would put the following problem intersections on the priority list for Smart Light installation:

• Staten Island
• Arthur Kill Road at Richmond Valley Road
• Forest Hill Road and Richmond Hill Road
• Victory Boulevard to turn onto Richmond Avenue
• Forest Avenue at Richmond Ave/Morningstar Road
• Victory Boulevard at Slosson Avenue
• Victory Boulevard at Clove Road
• Clove Road at Forest Avenue
• Bay Street at Victory Boulevard
• Bay Street at Water Street
• Richmond Terrace at Clove Road
• Richmond Road at Narrows Road North
• Narrows Road North at Clove Road


• Queens Boulevard and Long Island Expressway
• Metropolitan Avenue and 60th Street
• Metropolitan Aveune and Fresh Pond Road
• Brookville Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard
• Hillside Avenue and Hollis Court Boulevard
• 101st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard
• Farmers Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard
• Cypress Avenue and Vermont Place
• 46th Avenue and Utopia Parkway
• 210th Street and 64th Avenue
• Brookville Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard
• Atlantic Avenue and Van Wyck Expressway
• Farmers Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard
• Queens Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard.
• College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue
• Woodhaven Blvd and Union Turnpike

Malliotakis has long opposed the use of speed, red light and bus lane cameras because of their punitive nature, believes that the expansion of Smart Light technology to facilitate traffic will allow ticket generating traffic cameras to be phased out. Until that time she will use the revenue generated by traffic cameras to offset the cost of the Smart Light installation.

According to a report issued by Comptroller Scott Stringer, revenue generated by traffic cameras was $96 million in 2016. The remaining funds for the installation would come from restructuring the $1.6 billion that the de Blasio administration earmarked for “Vision Zero”.

Assemblywoman Malliotakis said, “We need to get back to the basics of city government and, one of the responsibilities of any mayor is to invest in the infrastructure to deal with population and economic growth. My administration will utilize new and innovative ways to ease traffic flow to make New Yorkers lives easier and less stressful. Smart lights makes sense and is long overdue.