The need for speed bumps: Parents try to tame Cobble intersection

The need for speed bumps: Parents try to tame Cobble intersection
Community Newspaper Group / Kate Briquelet

Children walking to school will be hit by unseen, speeding cars unless the city installs bumps and mirrors at a dangerous Hicks Street intersection, claim Cobble Hill parents.

As a service road for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Hicks Street attracts plenty of hurried drivers — but in recent years, the crossing at Kane Street has become packed with children heading to PS 29 two blocks away, according to families.

“People are in a rush and can’t see the little kids about to cross the street,” said Madeley Rodriguez, the mother of a PS 29 second-grader who has witnessed several near-misses. “If we don’t fix it now, something bad is bound to happen.”

Hicks Street has two lanes of northbound traffic and one lane of southbound traffic, separated by a median that serves as an overpass above the highway. Pedestrians — many of them condo dwellers on Tiffany Place — say crossing from the median is particularly dangerous because motorists tend to hug the curb and a tall fence obstructs views, making it difficult for drivers to see walkers and vice versa.

Even with stop lights and a crossing guard, parents say the corner is an accident waiting to happen.

“The neighborhood is changing and the street is not,” said Rebecca Katz, who lives near the intersection and doesn’t let her toddler out of his stroller when they walk past. “Every weekday, you see a bunch of kids coming over the BQE with huge trucks racing by.”

Officials with the Department of Transportation met with residents last week to discuss installing speed bumps on Hicks Street and other nearby danger zones, including Henry and Kane streets and Henry and Baltic streets — a process that would require a months-long study.

A Transportation spokeswoman said that the agency will look into extending the sidewalks on Kane and Hicks streets and provide a temporary speed board in the area.

Slowing down motorists on their way to the BQE won’t be easy — but parents say the city must do something before it’s too late.

“Everyone is frightened, yet we have all this talk and no action,” Katz said.

Reach Kate Briquelet at [email protected] or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.