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‘Speed hump’ hits speed bump: City wasted $ on device it tore out after two days, locals say

What a waste!: Midwood resident Boris Ganelin says the city’s mistake of installing a speed hump before milling and paving the street is highly inefficient.
Community News Group / Julianne Cuba

This speed hump is screwing taxpayers.

The Department of Transportation needs to stop wasting money, Midwood residents are charging after the agency built a traffic-calming mass of asphalt on Bedford Avenue and then tore it up days later, because it apparently forgot it had planned to repave the entire street. The city ought to slow its roll and be more careful not to squander public funds, one local said.

“I thought it was ridiculous and a waste of taxpayer money,” said Shmulie Ben-Zvi, who lives in the neighborhood. “It’s a waste of time, money, and manpower. They put it in just to rip it up.”

City workers built the hump between Avenue P and Quentin Road to slow cars outside James Madison High School on Aug. 23 — but by Aug. 26 they had torn it up along with the rest of the avenue for scheduled repaving, an agency spokeswoman said.

Transportation department officials ignored repeated questions on how much the dumped hump cost taxpayers and would not say what led to the confusion, but the local councilman said the agency got mixed up internally.

“There was a miscommunication within the DOT bureaucracy,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay).

Another local wondered if the hump fest was a gift from the Department of Transportation to a favored contractor.

“Waste of money, and inefficiency. Corruption maybe?” said Boris Ganelin.

Ben-Zvi claims he saw as many as four speed humps go in on the block a few days before the re-paving.

The city plans to put in new speed humps after it finishes repaving the street next week, and they will be in place by the first day of school, a Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.

“In an effort to enhance safety at this location, we recently installed a speed hump while finalizing plans to resurface the street,” she said. “To ensure safety for every pedestrian, cyclist and motorist, we expect work to replace the speed hump on the newly resurfaced street to be completed by Sept. 8, the first day of public school.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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