After years of community effort, Van Nest Avenue has been approved to receive speed humps to slow down traffic.
For years, community residents from the Van Nest area between White Plains Road and 180th Street have been complaining about the number cars that fly down the street, endangering the lives residents.
“They [drivers] keep speeding up and down this block, when I try to cross the street at Unionport Road I’m taking my life in my hands,” said Mary Mascola, 60 year resident of the area who walks across the street four days a week to reach the Van Nest Senior Center. “They don’t even respect the red light there. You have to be so careful.”
Community activist and resident of over 40 years, Bernadette Ferrara, has been at the forefront of the struggle to have speed reducers put in place, collecting over 300 signatures on a petition from neighbors and community members.
“It was just so needed and what really matters is people in the neighborhood are going to feel like their voice was heard,” said Ferrara. “Its always been an issue of conflict for the community with children playing in the park and for people walking their kids to school at St. Dominic’s or P.S. 83.”
According to a spokesperson from the Department of Transportation, a study was conducted which found speed humps would be an effective way of calming traffic along Van Nest Avenue.
“The speed reducers are vital to the community, and I commend Bernadette,” said district manager of Community Board 11, John Fratta, “she never gave up and it worked. We kept pushing on our end and she made sure it stood up there as a major issue.”
DOT estimates the speed humps will be put in place sometime during the spring to early summer, and will notify CB 11 of the scheduled installation.
“I tip my cap to Bernadette because she did all the legwork on this project,” said Joe Bombace, member of CB 11. “She took it upon herself for the soul purpose of what was in the best interest for her community.”
©2009 Community News Group