Photo Courtesy of Alex Blenkinsopp
The two bumps will be placed on 98th Street between Jamaica Avenue and Park Lane South.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Could these long-awaited bumps in a Woodhaven road be headed for a mountain of trouble?
The City Department of Transportation this week began to prepare 98th Street between Jamaica Avenue and Park Lane South for the installation of two raised speed reducers – speed bumps – and perhaps some well-earned peace of mind for the area residents that have been begging for the safety measures for nearly five years.
According to DOT, a raised speed reducer is a raised area of a roadway that deflects both the wheels and frame of a traversing vehicle with the purpose of reducing vehicle speeds.
But these southern borough bumps might not be ready for their close-up just yet.
Community Board 9 Member Alex Blenkinsopp on Tuesday noticed something strange about the designated positions of the speed bumps and made the City and Woodhaven residents aware through social media.
“Oddly, @NYC_DOT is placing 1 speed bump at very beginning of the block, & 1 at very end. A 1,000-foot straightaway separates them. Why?” Blenkinsopp asked.
DOT answered with a link that contained information on “speed reducer criteria & feasibility.”
“Doesn’t make sense to slow cars before they can pick up speed, & to hide a bump just beyond a curve after a long uninterrupted stretch,” Blenkinsopp said. “@NYC_DOT took YEARS to pick locations for these bumps & this was what they came up with? I don’t get it. Why not consult the residents?”
The agency has yet to respond to that last inquiry.
Blenkinsopp told The Forum on Wednesday that he’s already heard from multiple residents who are “scratching their heads” over the placement of the bumps.
“The first bump will be at the very beginning of the block, before cars can pick up any speed,” he noted. “AftАer that, there’s a very long, uninterrupted straightaway – no speed bump planned for this area. Then the road curves, and hidden right around that curve is the second planned speed bump. Nearly 1,000 feet separate the two speed bumps.
“The long, uninterrupted stretch has been the primary concern of the block’s residents for years,” Blenkinsopp continued. “The anticipated locations of the speed bumps will do little to address that concern. 98th Street would continue to bear an uncanny resemblance to a racetrack.
“Through Community Board 9, these concerns have been communicated to DOT. I hope they respond soon, and ideally change the planned locations for the bumps.
“DOT already postponed installation of these bumps once, supposedly due to an issue with the locations. They’ve had years to figure this out, and this was the best they could come up with? I know that there are a bunch of technical requirements governing where speed bumps can go, but why doesn’t DOT ask residents – those with the deepest knowledge of what would work and what wouldn’t – for input and help?”