Sections

Humpty dump! WT residents slam traffic-slowing plan

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

They are not love-drunk on those humps.

Windsor Terrace residents slammed a proposal to stick up to 15 traffic-slowing speed humps around their neighborhood to improve pedestrian safety, with many knocking the plan as a lazily slapped-on solution that will fail to fix dangerous road conditions in the neighborhood.

“It’s cheap and easy,” said Neil Eisenberg, who lives on Seeley Street — the site of three proposed humps — eliciting applause from the gathered neighbors at Monday nights meeting. “Now let’s get to the solutions that can work for us.”

Eisenberg said Seeley Street — described by residents as a busy two-way street plagued by speeding devils — has long blocks with no safe places for kids to cross the street, and condemned the hump plan as a lame alternative to crosswalks, stop signs, and traffic lights that could save kids’ lives. Other residents voiced fears that the humps might do more harm than good by causing loud noises, damaging cars, or slowing down emergency response vehicles, though a Department of Transportation specialist assured the naysayers that the agency has never received complaints about property damage or delayed response times.

The 15-hump plan — with 14 concentrated on streets between 11th Avenue and Vanderbilt Street and one on Kermit Place — was presented at a Community Board 7 transportation committee meeting as one way to get drivers to slow down, even if it isn’t a cure-all.

“It’s not a fix-all, end-all solution,” said Transportation specialist Jeannette Saunds. “If you adhere to the advisories, I think they are very effective.”

Despite skepticism and dismay voiced by many meeting attendees, some residents cling to hope that the humps will do their part to slow down speedsters and make the streets safer for kids. One Seeley Street resident whose 17-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver at 19th Street and Terrace Place in 2003 believes the city’s “Vision Zero” efforts could make a big difference.

“It would have saved my son’s life if there had been a speed bump,” said Mary Jane Monahan.

The city noticed the neighborhood’s deadly streets after a 14-year-old boy was killed by a hit-and-run driver at Caton avenue and E. Seventh Street last November. Councilman Brad Lander (D–Windsor Terrace) has spearheaded a movement with the department to make the streets safer for kids walking to the neighborhood’s schools by adding new crossing guards, putting up more signs, and installing more traffic lights in addition to the speed humps. The department’s progress is tracked on the councilman’s website at bradlander.com/KWTstreetsafetytracker

A representative from the councilman’s office said the latest efforts are focusing on speed humps because they are the quickest solution within the city’s control, as stop signs and traffic lights have to adhere to state and federal regulations that make them difficult to get approved and installed.

The community board emphasized that Monday’s meeting was the first of many, and they will invite the department to return in September with a renewed plan that takes into account community feedback. When the department presents the final plan — which Saunds says will probably be ready next year — the community board’s will vote on each hump individually. It’s vote is not that law of the land, though, as the board’s voice is only advisory.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 7:31 am, August 5, 2015
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Gary Reilly from Carroll Gardens says:
Those speed humps will unquestionably improve street safety. Nobody claims they are a panacea, but they are an improvement, and an improvement that can be implemented right away.
Aug. 5, 2015, 8:49 am
Brooklynite from Brooklyn says:
We have two speed bumps on my block. They don't fix every last problem with drivers, but they work pretty well, don't cause extra noise, and the cops and FDNY don't mind them at all. And the concern about damaging cars is silly. If you're going slow, you have nothing to worry about. Anyway, cars can be fixed. Human life can not.
Aug. 5, 2015, 9:06 am
slow go from Brooklyn says:
Speed bumps are engineered improperly for the desired outcome which is to stay within the speed limit. Thus if you can't hurdle a speed bump, doing the speed limit, in a controlled/comfortably fashion, it's improperly designed and hazardous!

Further, speed bumps are more fitting at crosswalks. They'd slow vehicles where people are present and accidents are more prone to happen. They'd double the benefit as pedestrians would be higher thus more visible to motorists while preventing water/snow/ice from accumulating where people need too walk.

Lastly, traffic lights not only often delay traffic, which we want to move effectively, but they increase speed. All motorist do this, they see a green light and automatically speed up to beat it paying little attention to what's around them.

A Stop Sign however always slows all vehicles. And even in the event they don't come to a full stop, they are going slow at intersections and are more alert, which is what we want.

OPTIMAL: Stop Signs and Speed Bump at Crosswalks combined with Bulb-Outs to shorten the path and protect pedestrians waiting to cross.
Aug. 5, 2015, 9:23 am
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
Gary Reilly speaks for me. He always has!!
Aug. 5, 2015, 10:20 am
TOM from Sunset Park says:
Not a panacea but can't be questioned? Interesting.

This fifteen-part issue requires another community meeting(it will be announced for September) and perhaps all who have opinions here should attend and at least listen to the questions. Again, it should be in Windsor Terrace proper.

In the past speed bumps have been removed after public outcry(from residents, not drivers) with no rise in risk. They do come in varying sizes, shapes and locations and the City has chosen a simple cheap choice. I personally think this type should be installed in all public parking lots, along with speed limit signage, and at points where driveways meet an existing sidewalk. I can think of Costco as a good start.
Aug. 5, 2015, 11:14 am
joe shabadoo from windsor terrace says:
Agree with 'slow go' above. bulbouts, raised cross walks, in effect making the crosswalk a speed hump, and lane markings on the extra-wide streets such as 10th ave 11th ave, and terrace place would be welcomed.
Aug. 5, 2015, 1:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I hate to break to some of you, but there are times when it's pedestrians that have the tendency to place themselves into harm's way especially by jaywalking. If this is really about safety, then all groups should contribute to this, not just make it selective to just one. Traffic enforcement should also extend to them as well otherwise it will feel like Animal Farms were a certain group of animals believed that they were above all others and claimed that the rules don't apply to them. In reality, the speed humps will do little for safety if pedestrians continue to ignore the walk signals.
Aug. 5, 2015, 3:08 pm
S from Clinton Hill says:
Judicious jaywalking is often the safest way to get around on foot.

Pedestrians are most at risk from drivers making turns, because that's when the driver and the pedestrian have the least time to see and react to each other.

And when are pedestrians most likely to encounter drivers making turns? When they are crossing at a crosswalk with a walk signal.

When you jaywalk, you're normally only contending with cars that are going straight, meaning you can see them from a mile away and easily avoid them.
Aug. 5, 2015, 5:28 pm
jay from nyc says:
Look, the problem in Windsor Terrace is that people run the stop signs, run the red lights, drive the wrong way n one way streets, and speed past the schools and they believe they are entitled to do so. Despite idiot loser Tals comments, jaywalking is NOT an issue in Windsor Terrace. Making matters worse is that the police are NEVER on hand to stop it. This is not something new either. People have complained about these issues in traffic surveys and other things sent out by the city, people call the precinct and leave message on the police answering machine, which the police never return those calls.
The answer here is stop messing around with stupid things that won't work, and get the g-damn police to do the job and post up in Windsor Terrace and bust these people. Sorry police that traffic control is not that interesting to you, but it needs to be done.
As much as people like Hakim Jefferis, or Juamine Williams are an embarrassment, at least they show up and get some press.
Aug. 5, 2015, 8:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Disregarding the personal attacks and childish antics of jay, who I think could be lying about his age as well, I still feel that jaywalking does play a role in making the streets dangerous. However, I'm not condoning the actions of reckless drivers. Let's not forget the old saying that it takes two to tango. Surveys don't always say everything considering those who have been taking them and probably don't drive on a normal basis. For example, I could survey a lot of Jews who would say that they would most likely support the existence of Israel, while Muslims that would surveyed will most likely say that they would oppose it. In other words, surveys can be biased. My point is that two wrongs don't make a right. Nobody is saying that it's right for motorists to be flouting traffic laws, but that doesn't excuse pedestrians from doing that themselves. I have always found Vision Zero to be nothing but selective outrage towards motorists, which is why I was applauded at one of their hearings for saying that. This is more like trying to look for a good scapegoat rather than solving the real issues, and I still feel that redesigning the streets isn't going to do it. If you want to learn more about selective outrage, then please read Animal Farms by George Orwell and you'll understand what I mean by it. As for the police, they should be doing their job on enforcing the traffic laws, but no everyone who flouts them, not just a select group, so I don't want to hear cyclists and pedestrians crying foul when it's on them despite how much the want motorists to be held to follow every letter of the law when they feel that they don't. On a side note, calling someone an idiot loser is highly uncalled and very childish, plus you don't hear me resorting to that. For the record, I don't care if anyone wants to disagree with my views, it's those who make personal attacks at me that I do mind. I don't hate the person, just the ideas, and I don't use personal attacks when stating my claims unlike those that do, now please start growing up and talking like a real adult for once unless you really are a child.
Aug. 6, 2015, 4:42 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
Jay: Was that rant helpful to you? No one else got anything from it.
Aug. 6, 2015, 5:58 pm
jay from nyc says:
Tal do you even KNOW where Windsor Terrace is, let alone actually spent any time there? Here is a hint, its almost ENTIRELY residential. Can you name the one bar that is in Windsor Terrace? If not, then shut it, cause you don't know anything about it , and that makes you an ignorant A**. And no, your g-damn tax dollars are not involved.
Aug. 6, 2015, 8:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jay, as a person who did neighborhood tours on a message board, I do know where Windsor Terrace is. Also, I know it was named after a similar place in England hence some of the early houses mimicking that architecture. My comment is to point out that the only way to safe streets is for all groups to follow the rules, not just one in particular. On a side note, I never heard anything here that said locals only. BTW, are you from that area? If you aren't, then cut the double standard.
Aug. 7, 2015, 2:26 pm
jay from nyc says:
again Tal name the one bar in windsor terrace? Ya cant do it can ya Tl?
No double standard Tal,I am there there almost every day. Never seen you here Tal, and yeah thanks to BP we have seen your pic, and plus I know you drive a crappy honda, so I know who and what to look for, and you aint here.
If you were, Tal, you would know that people are not jay walking, and that people do follow the rules. You would know its mostly retired military people and familys who live in windsor terrace.
You would know its drivers passing who are the people NOT following the rules. But if you had ever been in Windsor Terrace you would know that, which just proves you have not been to windsor terrace and don't know what the deuce you are talking, thats not a double standard, its just a standard that says you should know what you are talking about and you don't know what you are talking about Tal you crayon eater.
Aug. 10, 2015, 8:49 pm
WTF from New York City says:
Tal is so weird and annoying. He doesn't even live in NYC but complains non-stop about bicyclists and street safety improvements.

Get a new hobby. All the nonsense you spew is not taken seriously.
Aug. 18, 2015, 4:50 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: