PPNA presses for speed bumps

Pelham Parkway’s local civic group is racing the clock to stop racing cars.

It’s demanding several speed humps before a new school opens on Lydig Ave. this fall.

“It’s going to bring school buses, teachers, parents dropping off their kids,” said Edith Blitzer, president of the Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association.
She’s particularly peeved at speeders along hilly Colden Ave. soon after they make a right turn from the residential portion of Lydig Ave. Colden merges with Bogart Ave. underneath the elevated #5 subway train, snaking towards White Plains Road.

The distance between Colden and the four-way stop sign at Lydig and Barnes is long enough for drivers to pick up enough speed only to make a sudden stop.

It’s at Lydig and Barnes where the new P.S. 292, a K to 5 school, will open its doors come September. It was once the site of the Young Israel of Pelham Parkway synagogue.

Enrollment will consist of kindergarten and first grade classes in its initial year, with another grade added each year.

On June 14, Blitzer and PPNA vice president Andrea Siegel spent 20 minutes of the noon hour logging the number of heavy-footed drivers making the right turn from Lydig into Colden. They said they counted nearly five dozen on what’s considered a relatively quiet day.

“They don’t slow down,” said Blitzer, pointing at a young driver zooming down. “And that’s slow, they’ve gone much faster,” added Siegel.

Both agreed the influx of heavy traffic comes during the morning and evening rush, driving up the number of close calls within the area.

PPNA pressed Councilman Jimmy Vacca to request a traffic study on June 11 at their monthly meeting at Bronx House.

Their request came roughly a month after Vacca, chair of the council’s Transportation Committee, requested traffic control measures in front of P.S. 292, on the request of PPNA.

Vacca sought answers for any impending traffic issues from officials with the departments of education and transportation.

DOT explained it would need to discuss their plan in the coming months with the School Construction Authority, which ultimately decides whether traffic tweaks such as parking spots or speed humps are needed near the school.

A DOT spokesperson did not return calls as of deadline.

Traffic studies usually take 90 days to complete with analysts measuring the frequency of cars coupled by the number of fender benders, though there have been virtually no reported accidents on Colden Ave., according to police.

Still, PPNA looks to be proactive than reactive.

“Why wait for something to happen before you do it?” asked Siegel. “If you could save one life or one accident, it’s worth it.”

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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