By Joe Anuta
Residents of Malba will be getting a speed bump on 11th Avenue after a decade-long ordeal.
Nearly 10 years ago, the borough’s city Department of Transportation commissioner sent a memo to Community Board 7 indicating that a speed bump was approved for installation along 11th Avenue near 141st Street, an area residents say is used as a drag strip by cars coming from nearby College Point.
The 2003 memo, written by former DOT Queens Commissioner Joseph Cannisi, indicated “installation should take place by the end of this fiscal year.”
But it was never installed.
Instead, after the current Commissioner Maura McCarthy took the helm in 2006, the project was actually denied several times.
“There is a quarter-mile stretch from 138th Street to Malba Drive without anything to slow cars down,” said Thomas Giudice, a member of the Malba Civic Association who has long fought for the hump.
As evidence of the dangerous situation, he pointed to damage in front of Marino Stacchini’s home on the corner of the avenue and 141st Street. An unknown vehicle recently veered off the side of 11th Avenue near the intersection and slammed into his brick and stone wall before driving away.
But in April, the DOT approved the installation of the hump, which will satisfy numerous complaints filed by Giudice, although according to the longtime resident, it does not go far enough.
“There is no question the hump will help the other parts of 11th Avenue,” he said. “But it’s not going to help that particular corner.”
Giudice wants the DOT to install a four-way stop sign at the intersection after Stacchini’s home has been hit several times over the last seven years.
Three years ago, a car hit a fire hydrant in front of Stacchini’s home and four years before that his stone wall was decimated for the first time.
Stacchini, who estimated the damage to his handmade stone wall at more than $15,000, said the city should cough up the money to at least put in a stop sign.
“I’ve been working for 60 years and paying taxes,” he said. “I don’t deserve a stop sign?”
Giudice, who has written several strongly worded letters to DOT over the years, sees it as an administration that puts too much faith in statistics and not enough faith in the concerns of residents.
“They are putting these rules and regulations ahead of safety,” he said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.