Lefferts Gardens Plagued by Leadfoots, Watchdog Finds
By Erin Durkin
This Brooklyn neighborhood is moving too fast.
Two intersections in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens clocked the most speeding cars anywhere in the city, a recent study found.
At Rogers Ave. and Maple St., Transportation Alternatives researchers found 88% of cars exceeded the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit. At nearby Flatbush Ave. and Empire Blvd., it was 78%.
Those stats compare with an average of 39% at 13 locations across the five boroughs.
"All of these north-south streets in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens are intolerably dangerous," said TA spokesman Wiley Norvell. "New York Ave., Nostrand, Bedford, Rogers -- there's not a safe one in the bunch."
Suzanne Miller, 41, who lives on Maple St. near Rogers Ave., said she worries for the safety of her 3- and 4-year-old daughters.
"It's absolutely a raceway," she said. "I'm very cautious when I'm walking with my children on the sidewalk. . . . It's an incredibly dangerous situation."
Two pedestrians were killed by cars on Rogers Ave. between Linden and Empire Blvds. between 1995 and 2005, the most recent statistics available, the study found. Another 135 pedestrians and bicyclists were injured there.
On Flatbush Ave. between Ocean and Caton Aves., 353 pedestrians and cyclists were injured.
"It's like a deathtrap," said Roy Powell, 78, who has owned a laundermat on the corner of Rogers Ave. and Maple St. for 25 years. "I've seen so many accidents here."
Norvell said that while avenues in the quiet residential neighborhood would not be obvious suspects for wide-spread speeding, a combination of long blocks, one-way traffic and poorly marked lanes "really encourage drivers to speed."
The highest speed clocked on Rogers Ave. was 51 miles per hour, the study said. Most of the speeding cars drove between 30 and 40 mph.
"From a driver's point of view the difference between 30 and 40 means you save a few seconds," Norvell said. "From a pedestrian's point of view, that's the difference between life and death. He said while 40% of pedestrians hit by a car going 30 mph die, the fatally figure jumps to 70% when hit at 40 mph.
Community Board 9 District Manager Pearl Miles said the board is asking the city Department of Transportation to study street design changes that could reduce speeding in the neighborhood. "No one drives 30 miles an hour," she said.
Transportation Alternatives also called on the state to pass legislation to allow cops to use cameras to automatically catch speeders.
Submitted by volunteer on November 10, 2009 - 15:21. categories [ ]