After nearly 15 years and two petitions, it appears as if 41st Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues will finally receive a speed hump.
Members of Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee voted unanimously in favor of adding the long-awaited safety measure during a meeting on Tuesday, February 10. A full vote of the board will be held on Wednesday, February 17.
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) also seems to be on board. At the beginning of the meeting, Zachary Jasie, second vice chair of CB 7, read a letter from the DOT addressing the request.
“The New York City Department of Transportation conducted an investigation to determination the feasibility to provide a speed hump in this location and it is deemed as feasible,” the letter stated.
Jasie also said that he is in favor of the potential addition to the block. “I’ll admit I’m in full agreement with the speed hump,” he said. “I live on 40th Street and we get the traffic going up the hill and there are always people trying to speed on this neighborhood, and I think this might help slow down traffic.”
Founder of Friends of Sunset Park Maria Roca, who has lived on the block for 20 years, launched the petition for the speed hump.
“This has been years in the making. This is part of a plan that went to the DOT 15 years ago just to calm traffic around the park,” she said, adding that she believes the humps are needed to enhance pedestrian safety. “It’s a place where families bring children and elderly go for recreation. We’ve had accidents on that block. Twice, I remember when someone driving took out the side of six or seven cars. And people have gotten seriously hurt crossing.”
Other residents told similar stories.
“I’ve lived on 41st Street since 2001 and it’s been an ongoing problem,” said Sunset resident Robin Burdulis. “I’m also a driver and I also appreciate the speed hump that went on 41st between Sixth and Seventh along with a stop sign. I thought that would have alleviated the problem, but it doesn’t. Vehicles go past that stop sign and then they speed again. One of them knocked the mirror off of my car so they don’t have regard. I would really appreciate a speed bump between Fifth and Sixth.”
One of the longest advocates for a speed hump in the area Marion Palm launched a petition in 1984 that garnered 500 signatures. From where she lives, she said, “I can see the three exits from the park onto 41st Street and when children come out of the park, the traffic doesn’t need to be faster so we worked on slowing it down by putting up a stop sign.” Nonetheless, she said she couldn’t understand why adding a speed hump would take so long. “When it comes to something that matters like children safety, why does it take decades?”
Roca is happy with the progress despite the slow pace. “You take your victories wherever you can. It looks like it’s on its way to happening. It’s about everyone’s safety, not just children,” she said. “This is a residential street with elderly, not a block for trucks or drag-racing motorcycles.”