The Rego Park Green Alliance is preparing to petition the city to set up and enforce a 20-mile per hour speed zone in an effort to slow down speeders on a section of Alderton Street and surrounding residential roads.
The group would like to see the Department of Transportation set up a Neighborhood Slow Zone within the triangle formed by Woodhaven Boulevard, 63rd Drive and the Long Island Rail Road tracks running parallel to Alderton Street.
The designation would lower the speed limit within that triangle — excluding Woodhaven and 63rd themselves — to 20 miles per hour, something residents are telling officials is necessary to slow down speeders who use Alderton as a through street to or from the boulevard.
“There have been three serious accidents here in the last year,” said Yvonne Shortt “And recently I saw two speeding SUVs that almost collided at the intersection of 62nd Road and Alderton — and a little girl was right between them when they stopped.”
Shortt and other members of the alliance’s Alderton Committee have been gathering residents’ signatures to show the requisite popular support within the designated region.
Businesses along the eastern side of Woodhaven between Alderton and 63rd Avenue — including the Chronicle — will be contacted in an effort to enlist their support.
Many of the committee members like Alderton resident Jay Pena have been trying for years to get speed bumps, stop signs or anything else to slow down traffic.
“I started about 10 years ago when my dog was killed while I was walking him,” Pena said.
“He was a Sheltie named Charlie,” said Pena’s neighbor, Elby Schneidman. “He was a rescue dog, a cute, furry little thing.”
Shortt, Pena and Schneidman pleaded their case before Community Board 6 on Jan. 11.
They and others met with City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz last Tuesday, and said the meeting went well.
“She was very supportive,” Pena said.
Shortt and Schneidman said Koslowitz has agreed to tour the triangle with DOT personnel, and promised a letter of support that the DOT requires from the council member who represents the zone should she agree with their request.
Pena also said he was encouraged by the possibility that the DOT could improve sight lines by what is referred to as “daylighting,” by eliminating two parking spaces per side on Alderton where it meets 63rd Drive.
“That would give drivers better visibility making that right or left turn from 63rd,” Shortt said.
Roads located within the proposed zone would include Alderton; 62nd Avenue; 62nd Road; 62nd Drive; 63rd Avenue; and Haring, Bourton, Carlton and Fitchett streets.
The DOT’s website states that all slow zone applications must demonstrate support from residents, businesses and local institutions such as churches and schools. The city then will evaluate the need, traffic and accident statistics.
All applications for 2012 must be received by the DOT by Feb. 3. Should the DOT approve the Rego Park request it would present its plans for design to Community Board 6 in late summer or early fall.
The DOT said approaches to all such zones are clearly delineated for drivers with signs and conspicuous road markings.