Out of control drivers

This Toyota Camry was one of the cars totaled on a stretch of Kearney Avenue adjacent to the Bruckner Expressway after speeding motorists lost control coming around the bend. - Photo courtesy of Anothony Mikolinacz

A stretch of Kearney Avenue running parallel to the Bruckner Expressway has become a junkyard of sorts, with car after car totaled as out-of-control speeders crash and destroy vehicles parked along the curb.

Despite being a 25-mile per-hour zone, cars often driven by impaired drivers race down the hill and around a turn from Hollywood Avenue, down alongside the Bruckner, and smash into parked cars along the highway service road before the street becomes level at Waterbury Avenue.

The problem seems to be at its worst from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, according to residents on the block.

“It has gotten to the point where I can tell how serious an accident will be just be listening to the screeching sounds outside on the street,” said homeowner Andrew Mikolinacz. “I have had two cars totaled while parked at the curb. They think this street is the Indy-500.”

Mikolinacz said that cars come racing down the hill, switching lanes back and forth, “for the thrill of the ride,” only to lose control while coming around the turn. The subsequent crashes have claimed at least eight cars of neighbors on the block in recent years, he said.

In addition, speeding vehicles have crashed into fences of homes and trees alongside the Bruckner. One resident has had to replace her front gate three times as a result of out-of-control autos.

“I personally have lost two cars in the last year,” Mikolinacz, a 20-year resident of the street, noted. “Even though I respect the police, I have to say we get zero help from the NYPD. I have even spoken with a police captain, and we get empty promises all of the time.”

Mikolinacz’s neighbor, Joshua Hernandez also recently lost a car to an out-of-control driver coming down the hill towards the stoplight at Waterbury and Kearney avenues.

“People just come flying down the hill and don’t give any concern to people’s houses or cars,” Hernandez noted. “Half the time, we can’t make any improvements to our front lawns because we have to park our cars on the grass.”

A car landed on top of another neighbor’s car on the block, after flipping over while coming around the turn, and knocked down many of the warning signs that once were on the side of the road.

Those signs, which included a speed limit notice, arrows indicating a turn was ahead, and another warning that a traffic light was approaching, have not been replaced.

Moreover, the residents say that the City cannot put in speed humps at the location because it would impede city buses from coming down the street.

“You can see skid marks all over the street where cars land when they come down the hill,” said a neighbor who did not wish to be identified. “We hear screeching and crashing outside often.  Something has to be done.” 

The DOT did not respond to a request asking if a traffic study is being conducted.

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