2005-04-15 / Front Page

DOT Hits Brakes On Breezy Point Speeders

Deadly Accident Remains Under Investigation
By Brian Magoolaghan

Driver speeds past the Breezy Point memorial for J.R. McDermott this week.  Driver speeds past the Breezy Point memorial for J.R. McDermott this week. The Department of Transportation will make major changes to Breezy Point’s busiest roadway after a recent car accident took the life an 18-year-old pedestrian, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed this week.

The DOT immediately launched a traffic study of Rockaway Point Boulevard in the wake of the deadly March 13 accident in which J.R. McDermott was struck and killed just east of the Breezy Point Cooperative security booth, DOT spokesperson Craig Chin told The Wave.

The accident remains in the hands of the Homicide Investigations Bureau, according to Patrick Clark, a spokesman for the Queens District Attorney’s office.

DOT officials, along with NYPD accident investigators, visited the site last week and approved a speed limit reduction within the community from 30-mph to 25-mph, according to Chin. Additional 30-mph signs will be posted along the rural stretch of the boulevard, which becomes State Road as it runs through Roxbury and Fort Tilden, said Chin. The roadway lines will also be repainted in that section, he added.

News of the changes was well received by the cooperative’s private security force.

“Any help the DOT can give us to control the speed on this road is welcome,” said Breezy Point Security Captain Dennis Dier. The boulevard has been the scene of several fatal accidents.

Meanwhile, motorists continued to zip along Rockaway Point Boulevard/State Road this week. Inbound drivers were seen barreling towards the entrance booth, quickly hitting the brakes with less than 200 feet to spare, as a digital speed clock flashed numbers routinely in the high 30-mph and 40-mph range. The sound of open throttles could be heard on outbound cars and trucks roaring past the guard booth and the spot where flowers serve as a sad reminder of McDermott’s death.

There are no traffic lights included in the DOT plan because officials determined that the criteria set forth by the Federal Highway Administration had been met, according to Chin. Another study will be conducted during the summer to see if there is a higher volume of cars, which could build a better case for a signal, he added.

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