Ellis Avenue speed hump installed

Residents in an east Bronx community scored a big win that will hopefully curtail speeding.

Neighbors on Ellis Avenue in Castle Hill between Zerega and Havermeyer Avenues were successful in their advocacy for a speed hump, which was recently installed on their block to slow car traffic.

The city Department of Transportation installed a speed hump on Tuesday, November 24, after the conclusion of a seven-month traffic study.

Ellis Avenue homeowners Melsada Morrison and Alfredo Velazquez, who began the petition drive calling on DOT to look into the feasibility of a speed hump on the block, galvanized their neighbors around the cause.

For Morrison, it was personal. A car hit her son on the block about 15 years ago.

She has long advocated for a traffic safety on her street, and was the driving force in the installation of a traffic light at one end of the block, at Zerega and Ellis avenues years ago.

In spite of having that light at one corner and the street being changed from two way traffic to a one way direction, speeding still occurred, she said.

“We hope it is going to slow down the speeding on the block,” she said. “So far, so good – it is working.”

Drivers are still getting adjusted to the change, she said a couple days after the speed hump was installed, but the hump has slowed down traffic considerably.

As of press time, Velasquez noted that the signs alerting motorists of the new traffic controls were in place, and that all that was left to be done was to have the speed hump painted.

“The speed bump is definitely going to help,” he said, adding “It is good to get what we wanted because we have been working on this for a long time.”

While it took some time to get the approvals, the overall waiting period for the speed hump wasn’t bad, said Velasquez.

The two neighbors garnered 44 of the petition signatures calling for the speed hump to be installed on the block, and reached out to local elected officials.

A spokeswoman for DOT said that the traffic study was conducted at the request of Senator Jeff Klein.

Both Velazquez and Morrison thanked Senator Klein.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.