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Residents, DOT at odds over speed bump

October 8, 2009 3:06:50 PM PDT
Parents on Staten Island who were tired of dealing with speeders on their street took matters in their own hands. In the hopes of slowing down drivers, they made their own speed bumps on Locust Avenue in the New Dorp section. But their plan hit a bump in the road when the Department of Transportation removed the illegal speed bumps.

It may look like a nice, quiet street, but residents say it's become a shortcut between two main roads and that cars sometimes speed at 40 miles an hour or more.

"They whiz down here," resident Anne Chiarulli said. "It's terrible."

"I've had my mirrors taken off my car," resident Christy Dexter said. "Kids almost hit by cars."

And so just this week, an unknown person took it upon himself or herself to install speed bumps on the street. Most of the residents thought it was a great idea. But not everyone agreed.

Someone complained that the unsanctioned speed bumps looked unsafe, and so, on Wednesday, workers from the city's Department of Transportation took them out and cleaned the street up.

"I mean, it was a really nice bump," Chiarulli said. "And all of a sudden, someone comes along and they take it away."

The DOT insists it is not they don't care about the safety of the children there, saying in a statement, "Safety is our top priority, and we will study the location for possible improvements."

"And for 15 years, people have been talking about it, trying, trying, trying," Dexter said. "And nothing."

Other Staten Islanders agree that sometimes residents need to feel empowered.

"If they thought it was necessary, then it was a pretty good damn reason," Staten Island resident Tom LaFemina said. "And they should've did it."

Still, others say this might have been one bump too many.

"I would never do that or have one of my friends do that," resident Maryann Lomanto said.

The residents are hoping their bump in the road hasn't detoured their plans for a safer block.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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