On Thursday, May 24, Councilmember Justin Brannan, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), parents and students were in attendance for a ribbon cutting ceremony for a speed bump on 87th Street between Third Avenue and Ridge Boulevard, near P.S. 185 the Walter Kassenbrock school.
Brannan, who has long been advocating for safer streets in Bay Ridge but has especially done so in the wake of two accidents within the last month that left a 10-year-old with a fractured front jaw who has since had surgery and been released from the hospital, and a bicyclist in critical condition, called the new speed bump a good first step.
“Like most things we do through my office, it comes through community concerns or community suggestions, or complaints,” he said. “This block has been on our radar for quite a while because of the proximity to the school.
Furthermore, he said, “Third Avenue is busy. When I worked for [former Councilmember] Vincent Gentile, I had a three-way stop put in so this corridor has been on my radar for a while.”
This marks the second speed bump on the block, something everyone in attendance agreed helps solidify the safety of the students.
“I also had the school zone put in on Ridge so we’re trying to take a holistic look at this whole area and speed bumps. When they’re next-door to schools, they’re easier to put through because it just makes sense,” Brannan said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to keep people safe. Speed bumps are a good way to do that, combined with people respecting each other and doing it near a school is a no brainier.”
Deputy Borough Commissioner Claudette Workman from the Office of the Brooklyn Borough Commissioner of the NYCDOT also elaborated on the speed bump’s significance.
“It means more safety,” she said. “With the New York City Department of Transportation, we have several safety measures to keep all New Yorkers safe and our ultimate goal is to provide speed humps, stop signs, signals. We have various safety measurements that we install, speed humps being one, and it works. It helps the children stay safe. It slows [cars] down, it limits speeding, and [kids] feel safer crossing the street.”
This, Brannan said, only continues his fight for safer streets.
On Sunday, April 29, 10-year-old Jobe Kan, who attends P.S. 231 in Borough Park, was struck by a car and badly injured while playing with a friend on 84th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Bay Ridge. Less than two weeks later, on the morning of Thursday, May 10, a 29-year-old man was critically injured after colliding with a vehicle while riding his bicycle northbound on Ridge Boulevard along 73rd Street.
“There’s so much speeding and I think you need a multi-prong approach,” Brannan said. “We need more enforcement. We need better street design. You have the DOT who is willing to work to make our streets safer so everyone can enjoy them. We have a bunch of little kids and it’s in a quiet street like this, you have to do whatever you can to keep people safe.”