Ridge panel wants traffic-calming grooves back on dangerous road

Accident waiting to happen: Crashes are up on a winding stretch of Shore Road Drive that had traffic-calming “rumble strips” before the city repaved the accident-prone road late last year.
Photo by Steve Schnibbe

Bay Ridge wants to get its grooves back.

Community Board 10 wants the Department of Transportation to restore grooves that were once cut into a crash-prone portion of Shore Road Drive to slow traffic and give drivers more traction on the winding thoroughfare.

The rumble strips were erased with a recent repaving of the S-shaped road, which runs through parkland and routinely collects leaves that become slippery when wet, and board members say collisions have increased as a result.

“Residents are requesting that this be milled and that we get our grooves back,” said transportation committee chairwoman Jaynemarie Capetanakis. “Previously, the DOT had roughed the pavement in order to slow traffic. More recently this area was repaved and there has now been an increase in accidents.”

The curvy leg of Shore Road Drive between Ridge Boulevard and Third Avenue has been a longstanding problem, said board district manager Josephine Beckmann. In September 2008, a driver lost control on the stretch, spun his car into a tree, and died.

The situation was so bad that year residents of the nearby Bay Ridge Towers were calling the community board office almost daily to report crashes on the 730-feet stretch of roadway, according to a letter the board sent in 2008 asking for action.

At the board’s urging, the Department of Transportation milled grooves into the road in 2009 to slow drivers and give them more traction, Beckmann said.

But the Department of Transportation repaved the road in spring 2014, covering over the life-saving grooves, she said.

Lately, locals have reported more smash-ups, according to Capetanakis.

The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Beckmann said she’s confident roads honchos will make good on the request, because it was so responsive in 2008.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeg‌er@cn‌gloca‌l.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.

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