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President Streets' Speed Limit Reduction Revisited

City Council approves home rule message and awaits state assembly and senate to enact legislation.


A Coolidge Avenue resident, John Natale finds it senseless that his narrow, one-way street has the same 30 mile per hour speed limit as Lido Boulevard, a main thoroughfare with three lanes. Natale is among hundreds of residents from who last year signed a petition that supported legislation to reduce the maximum speed limit on their blocks but that died in Albany.

Natale said that Coolidge is home to 15 young children, and motorists routinely use the street as a speedway, especially since the city installed a parking lot at the end of block at East Broadway. “The traffic has increased incrementally,” Natale told the City Council at its Feb. 7 meeting. “... Literally they fly down our block. Something has to be done before some child is killed.”

The council that night approved a home rule request to have the state senate and assembly reintroduce and enact legislation to reduce the maximum speed limit to 15 miles per hour on the following avenues: Coolidge, Cleveland, Harding, Mitchell, Belmont, Atlantic, Wilson and Taft.

“Only the state of New York can reduce the speed limit on those streets down to 15 miles per hour,” said Corey Klein, the city’s attorney, about the necessity of the request.

He explained that the previous administration attempted to reduce the speed limit on the President Streets but their efforts with state officials never materialized. 

“Unfortunately, due to some of the issues going on up in Albany, our request got caught up in and died in the various houses up in Albany in the past,” Klein said about an issue that has been ongoing since 2005. “…We’re trying again to hopefully ask the state again to enact this legislation.”

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach, Sen. Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, worked jointly on the legislation (along with a similar bill for 16 streets in Lido Beach and Point Lookout), which they introduced in April 2011, according to Weisenberg’s office. The City Council approved the home rule message on June 7. According to a history of the bill provided by Skelos’ office, it passed the senate on June 20, the last scheduled day of legislative session, on which day it was introduced to assembly.

“The information necessary, the home rule message, was received by the assembly at the very end of session, and therefore we could not process the legislation,” Weisenberg explained. “If we don’t get it in a reasonable time so that it can be presented to the committees that it has to pass through, then of course we can’t pass any legislation.”

Weisenberg said he has followed up with the city, personally resubmitted the legislation and will move it forward “as expeditiously as possible.”

Tom Locascio, Skelos’ director of district operations, said the two bills remain a priority for Skelos. “He will be working to have them passed again in the senate this year,” he said.

Critics of reducing speed limits have in part called it unenforceable on narrow side streets, and meaningless because most motorists fail to observe speed limits.  

“I live in Long Beach and truth is speed limit signs won’t do a damn thing,” Ivan Bexter commented on a Patch question last year. “... Lower speed limits would be a waste of time except for the courts.”

Jimmy Hennessy February 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I am not saying he is bad person; he has helped in some instances. But there have been a few times, as mentioned above, when he could have done more and on those instances I questioned his motivation, or his lack thereof.
Lloyd February 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM
What can I tell ya, Jimmy? The Party comes first. They're all alike,.
Jimmy Hennessy February 16, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Another democrat friends and family hiring today! Despite the so-called "fiscal crisis", the new Democrat clubhouse administration hired yet ANOTHER friend today~ The young man was hired in the city manager's office. he is the son the couple who owns the smoke shop next to the theater in town. He was also apparently Darlene Tangney's campaign manager. We are getting his name and as soon as we have it I will post it. Just another example of the broken campaign promise by Adelson, Torres, Fagen and Mandell.
Richard Boodman February 16, 2012 at 04:13 AM
There he goes again! Jimmy Hennessy wants to re-write history. He blames only Assemblyman Weisenberg for the resolution not being passed when the Republican Coalition controlled City Hall. At the August 3, 2010 meeting of the City Council, I brought this issue up. You can clearly hear Mr. Theofan say "It died in the Senate." Harvey Weisenberg is a member of the New York State Assembly, not the Senate. A copy of the recording is available at the City Clerk's office. My three minutes began at 58 minutes and 40 seconds into the meeting. Perhaps Patch can post it to set the record straight.
Lloyd February 16, 2012 at 05:20 AM
It is very possible that Theofan doesnt know the difference between the State Senate and the Assembly. He does have his difficiencies.
Brendan February 16, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I love the lesson that the kids are getting in all this crap - at school with bullying, people driving their cars down the street....if you don't like it, make the government fix it, laws can make it all better. You want to lower the speed limit? Go ahead. The only way you're really going to prevent anyone, kids or otherwise, from getting hurt is KEEPING THEM OUT OF THE STREET. Because in case anyone hasn't noticed, there has been quite a bit of talk recently concerning how the city has some money problems. So if you think there are going to be an armada of cops over there writing tickets for 18 in a 15, you're a delusional crackhead. Take some personal responsibility and keep your kids out of the street. Because even if we spend the money to put up the 15MPH signs, there won't be anyone to enforce it. If you don't want to listen to me, that's fine. But I'll say it again: KEEP YOUR KIDS OUT OF THE STREET. When the inevitable happens and a kid gets hit, I'm going to come back on Patch, like I've done before, and ask the question: "WHAT WAS THE KID DOING IN THE STREET?" And people are going to call me "an a-hole" and everything else but the fact of the matter is this: If you stay out of the street, your chances of getting hit by a car are reduced dramatically. So keep your kids out of the street. The government can't be everywhere, protecting your sperm & egg sandwich that you dumped out, so do the right thing - AND KEEP YOUR KIDS OUT OF THE STREET.
Misty February 16, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I thought I was going to have to clear your tears off of my computer screen. Jeez, Brendan, go back to bed, you're very cranky today. The truth is that even adults get hit by cars - have you seen all the news about Hempstead Tpke? Granted some pedestrians are not paying attention, but the fact is that erratic and distracted drivers are the real culprits and enforcement has to take precedence and as taxpayers we should demand that this be adhered to. The only way it will work is if citizens bombard the police and city hall to have their voices heard and their wishes complied with.
Brendan February 16, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Just telling it like it is. Erratic and distracted drivers? How erratic and distracted would you have to be to hit a pedestrian that wasn't in the street?
Richard Boodman February 16, 2012 at 03:13 PM
@Lloyd 12:20 AM. Traffic safety is nothing to laugh at. Get a copy of the recording.
Lloyd February 16, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I agee, Brendan. It cabout time parents take responsibility for their children and stop blaming everything and everyone else. And Misty, there are plenty of adults who ride their bikes across the street in front of traffic and pedestrians who run across the street at night dodging oncoming traffic. You cant just put it all on the drivers. How much more intolerable do you want to make it for us? Speedbumps every 10 feet?
jetsboog February 16, 2012 at 05:37 PM
lloyd just speedbumps on the state streets and a 15mph speedlimit simple . enjoy life slowdown
Brendan February 16, 2012 at 06:52 PM
live longer stay out of the street
Lloyd February 16, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Hey Guys! Back in the day growing up on the mean streets of Queens, we usually found parks, playgrounds, parking lots, or backyards to play ball in. Our parents told us not to play in the street...too many hot rods, GTO's, 442's, Mustang Cobras, and Dodge Hemi's speeding thru the neighborhood.. No speedbumps or stop signs to slow them down. And we listened to our parents. I cant remember one kid getting hit by a car, but I remember kids getting hit by their parents when they didnt listen to them. Now a rebellious kid gets sent to his room for Time Out....and play with his computer, I-Phone, .42" flat screen TV, and Sony Play Station. Now you know why kids dont listen to their parents anymore. Why bother?
jetsboog February 16, 2012 at 08:35 PM
thought kids in queens grew up playing stickball in the street cars manholeole covers lamposts all in play . also stoopball kick the can etc all played in streets
Leonard Bauman February 16, 2012 at 08:53 PM
500, 400, 300, and 200 Blocks of East Harrison Street and East Pine Street should also be designated for the same speed limit reduction. Too many people are using these blocks of East Harrison and East Pine Street as thoroughfares, which both of these streets were never designed for. Many children and pets are injured or killed each year on East Harrison and East Pine Street due to speeding drivers using these streets to avoid the red lights on Park Avenue
Lloyd February 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM
I grew up in Queens Village. We played stickball in a private parking lot. Baseball and football on fenced in ballfields, and basketball and handball at the playgrounds. We did play some punchball and dodgeball in the streets, but the cars were all loud and 8 cylinders. We heard them coming a mile away. No Hybrids or Prius electric cars that are totally quiet.
Lloyd February 16, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Leonard..How about synchronizing the traffic lights on Park Ave to discourage shortcuts thru narrow residential streets?
Lloyd February 16, 2012 at 11:14 PM
These kids here have miles of free beach for nearly 9 months a year to play on. Touch football, volleyball, badmintton, or just make sand castles in the world's biggest "sandbox". They could even hang out under the boardwalk and do "teenage stuff". The possibilities are endless. Keep the kids off the streets!
Sal Lavaz February 17, 2012 at 12:01 AM
The problem can be corrected by installing RUMBLE STRIPS. No NYS legislative approval is needed. What's the excuse for not doing it? Lawsuits? No money? How about NO POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS! Politicians do nothing in this town unless you give some money.
Lloyd February 17, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Ok. If rumble strips make you guys happy...... How about agreeing to replace the Loop Pkway drawbridge?
Trying to Make Sense February 17, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Brendan, you seem way too smart to be writing blather like this. Yeah "keep your kids out of the streets" and the rest of you "get out of the way of moving cars". Brilliant in its simplicity, laughable in every other way. Lesson learned? None, kids don't read this, it's 50 or so bloggers who keep patch rolling. But if they did I wonder what they would think of:" When the inevitable happens and a kid gets hit, I'm going to come back on Patch, like I've done before, and ask the question: "WHAT WAS THE KID DOING IN THE STREET?" They might say, "going to the bus stop". A hit adult may say, "crossing the street w/ groceries about 50 ft from my front door. A hit elderly person may say "stepping away from my car as I return from my physical therapy". 15 mph for the Pres streets? Seems appropriate given the neighborhood, same for some other tight neighborhoods... not everywhere. Enhanced fines/points for neighborhood speeding, etc makes lots of sense. Walking in front of moving cars, never made sense, no one ever claimed it did or feels much sympathy for the purposely thoughtless ped or biker... no one is demanding gov't effort to protect the irresponsible, just greater effort to mitigate or penalize the irresponsible minority of drivers who make neighborhood life unnecessarily dangerous.
WheelsNeedDeals.com February 17, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Normally I'm for upping the speed limits, but when I see streets this populated and narrow it makes me wonder why they weren't given lower speed limits to begin with
Longbeacher February 20, 2012 at 08:16 PM
that a great idea
Longbeacher February 20, 2012 at 08:24 PM
RICH WHO IS LONG BEACHES MAN IN THE SENATE ?
Longbeacher February 21, 2012 at 03:26 AM
we just need inforcement on the side streets when people see it enough ,the yslow down ,just like lido blvd ,we now all know the radar is by nickerson beach so we slow down' but them on side streets during the rush hour
Candygram for Mongo February 21, 2012 at 04:24 PM
exactly - more side street enforcement (especially at night)
Lloyd February 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM
You cant have our cops sitting all over the place...on quiet residential streets, waiting hours for one guy going 35 mph, while one of our Patch posters is getting hassled by a bunch of panhandling "bums" over at the LIRR train station. So choose where you want beefed up police presence..on Cleveland St. or the train station, or catching drunk drivers on Park Ave or W Beech St. We may have to call up the National Guard to effectively patrol all those places.
Candygram for Mongo February 22, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Patrol all the streets
Longbeacher February 22, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Lloyd ,i was talking about the cut threw streets Olive ,Walnut,Beach .Those are the streets that there using rush hour in the am & 7pm ,it would only take 1 car 2 hours a week .i know for a fact there's plenty of free time in between calls ,and i agree the lights should be timed better on Park .most of the speeding is people who live in our town .They would realize there going to be ticketed and use Park ,it worth a try
Lloyd February 22, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Is it really that bad? So if the traffic lights on Broadway and Park were synchronized to keep traffic moving uninterrupted, would that keep drivers off the side streets? I never cut thru those streets. Is it quicker that way to LiDo Blvd

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