After a life-threatening crash that sent a van into the East River, we wrote, “RIOC installed speed bumps on that stretch, but many consider them unsafe. It’s unknown, at this time, whether the speed bumps contributed to the driver losing control of his vehicle.” The state agency that never makes a mistake stayed silent but removed the hazardous obstacles, again without comment.
By David Stone
The Roosevelt Island Daily News
After several people were hit by cars on Main Street, Public Safety chief Kevin Brown made a perplexing decision: He would install speed bumps on Main Street, including one outside Cornell Tech far from the scene of the accidents.
None of the accidents involved speeding, but Brown dug his heels in. His attitude resembled his strange assistance in maintaining the high-risk Kevin Brown Fire Hydrant Blockade, set up to curb illegal parking in a single spot.
Meanwhile, vehicles from bikes to heavy-duty trucks continued running stop signs in the heart of Main Street, the cause of at least two of the pedestrian injuries.
Looked at objectively, avoiding any sort of officer presence in the pursuit of public safety seems a primary motivation for Brown. Substituting signs for presence has reduced a high-functioning public safety department with a virtual meter maid and crossing guard operation.
And an ineffective waste of public money.
Speed Bumps Increase Traffic Hazards
Because of how the East River crash happened, the PSD speed bumps seemed a possible cause.
The force of the impact sent a van through guard rails and twenty feet into the East River, but at a 90-degree angle. It was as if, at a very high speed, the driver made an impossible, precise left turn into the chilly water.
Only a vehicle sent airborne and spinning could have done that, coming down on the road in the wrong direction. No other possible culprits were visible.
Banned in New York City
Speed bumps have long been the bane of drivers’ existence. These pesky speed limiters were banned in New York City for good reason. Too many speed bumps create a dangerous situation for drivers and pedestrians alike.
The sharp descent and ascents of speed bumps, if taken at speed, can cause drivers to jolt and swerve, leaving open the possibility of serious accidents occurring.
Even without speed bumps, driving in New York City is already a precarious task so removing its speedbumps was a necessary safety step.
But confronted with objections, Brown stood firm. He insisted that his were “speed humps,” not speed bumps. Even given the awkward semantics, they’re unsafe anyway.
We can be happy on two counts. First, no one was seriously injured, and two, the damn things are now gone.