Something that freaks me out about living in New York is the crazy number of people who are killed by reckless drivers. The fact that cars turn at full speed onto streets without slowing down at crosswalks in New York, a pedestrian city, drives me insane. Also, cars would literally fly down our residential block at 45+ mph. So, in January 2014, I looked into the process of getting speed humps on my block.
I was emboldened to make my request two years ago because I was inspired by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan for eliminating pedestrian deaths. It made me think that there was a shift in perspective and that instead of pedestrians being treated as obstacles to car traffic that lives might be respected. And I thought, there's no reason speed humps can't play a positive role in the attitude shift.
My first step was that I emailed the community board about my request. (But, now I see you can also fill out a form online.)
Craig Hammerman, the district manager of community board 6, cc'd me on an email to the New York City Department of Transportation, which got the ball rolling. That initial email asking the DOT to initiate a traffic study to see if a speed hump was warranted on my street was sent to Joe Palmieri, who was then the Borough Commissioner at DOT/Brooklyn (now Keith Bray). I also learned then that you don't need a petition or anything...someone just needs to make the request.
I always think it's nice to see examples of when just one person can make a difference.
My journey had begun! I was initially told that the traffic study could take "4 to 6 months," which changed to "7-12 months," which turned into "16 months or longer."