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As a winding street, Shore Road is unquestionably scenic.
It’s also potentially dangerous, as motorists often come around the bends more quickly than they should.
This is particularly significant, given the fact that the strip is frequented by students attending Fontbonne Hall Academy, as well as seniors residing at Shore Hill -- not to mention the innumerable residents of the area, as well as park-goers heading for playgrounds and ballfields.
Local activists have called in the past for traffic-calming measures to be implemented along the strip, requests that were redoubled after a Fontbonne student was hit by a car, a couple of years back. But, prior calls for traffic lights or four-way stop signs have gone unanswered.
Now, with 18 months since the prior request, State Senator Marty Golden has brought the subject back to public attention, requesting that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) undertake a study of Shore Road between 90th Street and Third Avenue, with an eye to installing either traffic lights or four-way stops.
“Shore Road is a regular speedway within our community,” Golden stressed. “As such, whenever you have speeding cars, you have imminent danger for all the motorists and pedestrians. Hopefully, this traffic study will find a need for traffic calming devices.”
A key issue, Golden added, is the fact that the strip stretches for 11 blocks without a single device to slow traffic down. “In the 70s,” he added, “they have a light, and we still get calls about drag racing, speeding, side-swiped cars, mirrors being hit.”
“The main issue is that there are people who speed,” noted Craig Eaton, the former chair of Community Board 10, whose daughter had attended Fontbonne. This is exacerbated, he said, by the fact that, “There are some blind spots, so people coming around turns can’t see what’s in front of them. We really felt there should be a light by Fontbonne.”
Josephine Beckmann, the district manager of CB 10, recalled that the board had asked DOT for traffic calming devices on the strip a couple of years back. In particular, she noted, “We have always felt strongly that the area near Fontbonne needed some kind of traffic control device because of the pedestrian volume. Where there’s a school, we feel, they should have a traffic control device and a marked crosswalk because safety is paramount.”
In addition, Beckmann noted that DOT generally recommends that people cross the street only in marked crosswalks. But, she stressed, “If you don’t have traffic control devices, you don’t have marked crosswalks. That’s a problem. It’s a long, long stretch. Are people not going to cross for all those blocksi
Beckmann said that the board understood that DOT has to install traffic control devices in a way that is consistent with federal guidelines. “We’re not saying there should be a light at every corner, but, hopefully, DOT will take a look and figure something out,” she added. “Even if it’s not a traffic light, a four-way stop. Give us something.”
“DOT will conduct a traffic calming study for the area requested and the results will be available in approximately three months,” said agency spokesperson Nicole Garcia.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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