2012-05-25 / Editorial/Opinion

Let The Community Decide

The debacle involving the speed bumps on Shore Front Parkway has once again reminded us of how our city and its mayor run roughshod over the residents of the outer boroughs. Without any notice to the community board, the local civic organization or the people of Rockaway, Department of Transportation (DOT) contractors showed up at Beach 84 Street and Shore Front Parkway and began putting in a series of large speed bumps. By evening, they were in place, but most of the Rockaway residents returning home after a day at work had no idea that they were there. Sure, there were new signs warning of the bumps, but those signs were inches from the bump itself and not lit. A number of locals reported that they nearly tore up the suspensions on their cars by hitting the bump even at the posted speed level. The DOT said that the bumps were part of a citywide program to safeguard students by placing the speed inhibitors around schools. St. Rose of Lima School is there, but the school said it never asked for the contraptions. It is clear that nobody in Rockaway officialdom asked for the bumps. After much consultation, handwringing and argument, the DOT, for the first time in recent memory, reversed itself and began to take the bumps away. Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska was amazed. He has been on the job for more than 20 years and has never seen the city reverse itself and then apologize. Think of the cost of putting in the bumps and then removing them. It would have been much easier for the city to have asked the community if it wanted the bumps. The answer would have been no, and all the consternation and expense would not have happened. Think about that next time.

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