By Karen Frantz
A new speed bump put in on 93rd Street by Elizabeth Blackwell Junior High School in Ozone Park that was causing consternation in the community because it was not easily seen by drivers has finally earned its white stripes.
The chief of staff for City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), Rudy S. Giuliani, the second cousin of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said he was driving by the area on Tuesday night and saw the change.
The bump, which was between 97th and 101st avenues, had been difficult to see because it did not have the painted white stripes to visually separate it from the rest of the road. Although there are signs on the side of the road clearly cautioning drivers about the bump, it was the exact color of the surrounding road, meaning it blended in and was difficult to see.
Now the bump is painted with white stripes.
Residents said the lack of any visual separation meant that drivers sailed down the road, unaware of the bump until it is too late, when they went flying over it.
“It’s dangerous,” Mel Chor, who lives across from the school on 93rd Street, said before it was painted.
He said since the bump was put in a few weeks ago, he frequently heard loud bangs while in his apartment as vehicles hurtled over it and bottomed out. He pointed to visible scrapes on the newly paved road about a foot or two after the bump, where the undersides of cars had repeatedly scraped the ground.
He also said that around 7 p.m. last Thursday he went outside to find a car on fire under the hood after going too quickly over the bump.
“You could see the smoke,” he said.
He said luckily a trailer truck was passing by and came to the aid of the driver with a fire extinguisher.
“I’m hesitant to park here,” he said, pointing at the side of the road near the bump.
He and other residents said the speed bump was put in after the city repaved the entire street. Before the repaving, there was also a speed bump there, but that one had visually separated, painted white lines.
Another resident who lives nearby, Frank Lantigua, said most people who know the road knew to slow down.
When originally asked about the speed bump, Giuliani said he was well aware of it.
“I know about it. I’ve hit it,” he said, saying it is a couple blocks away from Ulrich’s office.
He said the city Department of Transportation painted the rest of the street after the repaving, but for some reason had skipped the speed bump.
Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.