DOT: Speed Hump to be installed this fall on Ellis Avenue

(l-r) Alfredo Velazquez, Melsada Morrison and Hilda Velazquez stand on their block of Ellis Avenue, where they have advocated for better traffic controls for years.
Community News Group / Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Castle Hill residents concerned about speeding on their block are finally getting some relief.

A new speed hump has been approved for Ellis Avenue between Zerega and Havermeyer avenues after a seven-month traffic study by the city Department of Transportation.

Homeowners Alfredo Velazquez and Melsada Morrison reached out to Senator Jeff Klein, who’s office was in touch with DOT.

The two neighbors have also in the past successfully advocated for a traffic light at the Zerega Avenue end of the block, and two years ago successfully made their block a one-way street.

Vehicular speeding, a concern for years, seemed to have intensified recently, said Velazquez, and he has been doing all he can to get a speed hump for roughly the past five years, he added.

“The speeding happens every day,” he said, adding “(It) has just gotten a little crazy lately, and I don’t know why people are in such a rush to get where they have to go.”

One of neighbor’s primary concerns is the safety of children who may play near the street during summertime.

Morrison’s own son Kemre was hit by a car more than a dozen years ago when he was eight-years old, she said, and she is particularly concerned about young people who are out enjoying the temperate weather.

“The speeding really scares me,” she said, adding “You just watch and hope that a ball does not roll into the street.”

Velazquez added: “We are trying to avoid kids or older people from getting hurt here.”

He added that the situation is particularly acute because after the street direction was changed, cars sometimes drove down the street the wrong way.

He indicated that it could lead to a high speed, head-on collision if speeding is not curbed.

Both neighbors also said that they have attended monthly meetings of the 43rd Precinct Community Council and Community Board 9 to affect change when it comes to traffic.

Senator Klein first learned of the issue with speeding on the block during a canvassing and door-knocking effort in fall 2014, said a spokeswoman.

He was presented with a petition signed by 44 neighbors, she said.

In a statement, Klein said that he hoped the speed hump will help slow down drivers tearing through the local community.

A DOT spokeswoman stated in e-mail that the agency anticipates that the speed bump will be installed during the fall.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
The street is lined with homes.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

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