Traffic calming coming to Clinton Hill

Traffic calming coming to Clinton Hill
Photo by Jason Speakman.

Clinton Hill drivers will soon be hitting the brakes.

The city plans to set up a traffic-calming “slow zone” for the area bounded by Washington, Lafayette, and Bedford avenues, and Fulton Street. The proposal to install speed humps, special go-slow signs, and new street markings cleared a minor hurdle last Thursday when the transportation committee of Community Board 2 signed off on it.

“We think this group of tools will have a positive impact,” said Robert Perris, the panel’s district manager.

The overhaul cannot come quickly enough, according to some residents who say their residential neighborhood could be mistaken for the set of a Porsche commercial.

“We have a pretty rampant speeding problem in our neighborhood,” said Elizabeth Giddens, who lives on Franklin Avenue in the soon-to-be slow zone. “It’s treated as a speedway.”

Giddens is a member of the Brooklyn Waldorf School’s parent association, the group that applied for the pedestrian safety zone through the city’s transportation department.

The Clinton Hill slow zone would contain four schools and eight pre-kindergarten and daycare centers and its roads see an average of 62.4 injuries per year, according to the roads agency.

This slow zone would be the second in Community Board 2’s jurisdiction. Boerum Hill’s went into effect last year and folks over there are pleased with the results so far, according to Perris.

“It seems to be having a very positive effect on traffic speed,” said Perris.

The full board will vote on the Clinton Hill plan at a Feb. 12 meeting.

Officials designated 15 communities for the ramped-up traffic safety measures last year. Neighborhoods are picked based on high accident rates, a concentration of schools, and demonstrated support from the community.

The designations are in demand, if the number of groups asking for them is any indication. The 15 chosen last year came from a pool of 74 applicants.

“I want more slow zones everywhere,” said Downtown resident Denise Maher. She says the interest the program has garnered should be a sign to the city.

“It’s a signal that it’s important to people,” she said.

But others feel the city could do more by lowering the speed limit unilaterally.

“I’d love to see the citywide limit made 20,” said Eric McClure, a safe streets activist.

McClure helped push the failed 2011 slow zone for Park Slope.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Slow rise: This speed hump is supposed to keep drivers on Washington Avenue going slower than 15 miles-per-hour. The new neighborhood speed limit will be 20 if the city gets its way.
Photo by Jason Speakman