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A bad sign: Proposed ‘speed advisory’ sign won’t quell dangerous intersection, Ridgites say

Not so fast: Margaret Julia is frustrated that the Department of Transporation took down a speed limit sign at a busy intersection, and says the speed suggestion the department plans to replace it with is a joke.
Community News Group / Caroline Spivack

It’s a case of the fast and the furious.

Bay Ridgites are demanding that the city quell quick-moving cars coming off the Belt Parkway right next to a residential street. The intersection of Colonial Road and Wakeman Place is the first street Manhattan-bound motorists hit after hopping off the highway at exit 1, and the city recently removed a speed-limit sign that was the only thing reminding speed demons to pump the brakes. Now it plans to replace the sign with a non-binding “speed advisory” — and locals are fuming.

“It’s useless. What’s the point of putting up a sign if it’s only a suggestion? We need a blinking traffic light or speed bumps, not a suggestion,” said neighbor Margaret Julia.

Cars whiz off the high way so quickly that elderly locals and young kids often face close calls at the intersection, which is well trafficked by those heading to Owl’s Head Park. The issue is a persistent problem, but the missing sign has only made matters worse, another neighbor said.

“I’m taking my life into my hands when I cross the street to get to my car,” said Mark Gerse, who has lived on Wakeman Place for 10 years. “This whole area is a danger zone, it’s a real maze getting around here.”

A motorist was injured in a crash there in 2014 and a pedestrian was hurt in a crash this year, city data shows.

Workers took down the sign marking a 15-miles-per-hour speed limit two months ago because it was apparently put up in error — state law requires a street to have speed bumps in order for municipalities to post a limit of 20 miles per hour or less, a Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at mspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow him on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Not so fast: Mark Gerse wants to know why the Department of Transportation removed a speed limit sign at a busy Belt Parkway exit that feeds into a residential street.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

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