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Unfit to ride - Shore Rd. Drive a fatal stretch

The scenic beauties of Shore Road Drive notwithstanding, the roadway linking Fourth Avenue and Belt Parkway at 67th Street may also be one of the neighborhood’s most hazardous.

There have been fatalities as a result of accidents along the stretch, according to Community Board 10, which voted at its November meeting to recommend that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) do an engineering study of the thoroughfare, which winds through parkland.

“The district office received numerous telephone calls to complain about the unsafe condition of Shore Road Parkway after a fatal pedestrian/vehicle accident occurred there on September 28, 2008,” Brian Kieran, the chairperson of the board’s Traffic and Transportation Committee told board members gathered at the Norwegian Christian Home, 1250 67th Street.

During the committee meeting, Kieran added, “Questions were raised about possible road design deficiencies. According to neighbors, there are no posted speed limit signs, no ‘slippery when wet’ signs, and the road may be banked incorrectly.”

“Since May, the number of complaints about accidents in the area has gone way up,” confirmed Josephine Beckmann, the board’s district manager, in a subsequent interview.

One letter written by a Bay Ridge Towers resident to the board after the September fatality described the situation along the roadway in heart-wrenching terms.

“As he (the driver) proceeded towards the highway, he lost control of his car on the curves. As a result the car spun around, hitting a tree on the driver’s side, killing him instantly,” the resident wrote, explaining that her husband had witnessed the accident.

“This is my second email to CB 10 about the dangerous curvy road, which has no signs stating that the roads are dangerous when wet,” she went on. “This is a chronic problem whenever it rains. Many drive away, some are taken away by ambulance, but this is the first time we know that the person died.

“I have lived at the towers for 20 years, and whenever I hear the screeching tires, my stomach turns as I await the sound of the crash,” the resident concluded.

By press time, DOT had not provided a response to a request for comment.

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