By Connor Adams Sheets
A College Point resident has enlisted the help of elected officials in hopes of having a speed hump installed near his home.
Richard Erdey, who has lived on 128th Street by 25th Avenue for 40 years, says the traffic calming measure is needed on 128th to slow down the many cars that speed down the street every day, endangering children and pedestrians.
He took his concerns earlier this month to state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), e-mailing them to request their assistance.
“There are over 10 children that live and play on our block. I myself have a 2-year-old boy. Is it possible to get a speed bump in place?” Erdey asked Avella and Halloran. “Many cars come down our block way over the speed limit. I myself know firsthand as an EMT officer of the FDNY the damage or death a higher-speed vehicle vs. a small child can do.”
Halloran wrote July 20 to Maura McCarthy, Queens commissioner of the city Department of Transportation, to ask if she could look into Erdey’s concerns.
“I have been informed that vehicles travel down this street at very high rates of speed because it is a wide block, which creates a very dangerous situation for residents and their children,” Halloran wrote. “I request that the DOT conduct a study to determine if an appropriate location can be found to install a speed hump on 128th Street between 25th Avenue and 23rd Avenue.”
Halloran said it typically takes the city DOT six months to complete such a study.
Avella responded to Erdey in a July 14 letter, telling him that he had written to the DOT, city Department of Finance and city Department of Environmental Protection about the speed hump issue. He also provided Erdey with a petition so he can begin to collect signatures to convince the DOT to look into his concerns.
“DOT will not investigate the installation of speed bumps without first receiving a petition in support of the request from a majority of residents on the block,” Avella wrote.
On Saturday, Erdey took his concerns to city DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, sending her a letter asking for her support for a 128th Street speed hump, accompanied by the petition, which was signed by a number of his neighbors.
“I know that the city’s budget is tight (I work for the city, I get that), but when it comes down to protecting our city’s children, money should be the lesser issue,” Erdey wrote. “Wouldn’t it be nice for the children to play in a safer environment, worrying less about being hit by a high-speed vehicle?”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.