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Vacca requests St. Theresa Avenue speed hump

With residents and community leaders up in arms about dangerous conditions near the corner of St. Theresa and Pilgrim avenues, another possibility to slow down speeding cars has the Department of Transportation taking a look-see.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca has requested that the DOT look at the possibility of putting speed humps onto St. Theresa Avenue, in order to slow down cars coming down the hill from Westchester Avenue while on their way to neighborhood blocks and the Hutchinson River Parkway.

The DOT has convened its second study of St. Theresa Avenue, to look at ways to slow down traffic on the important artery.

“We received a request from Councilman Vacca last week,” confirmed DOT spokesman Craig Chin. “We will open a study concerning installing a speed hump for St. Theresa Avenue, which will take about 12 weeks to complete.”

Vacca’s request for a study comes on the heals of Senator Jeff Klein’s request for a 12-week traffic study to look into the possibility of putting in a three-way stop sign at the corner of St. Theresa and Pilgrim avenues.

 “This single block fronts a school, a church, and a rectory, so there’s no question that we want cars to drive slowly and carefully,” Vacca said. “I have expressed my concerns to DOT about speeding on St. Theresa Avenue, and I have requested a study to see if speed humps would alleviate this problem.”

Community leader Anita Valenti, of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association, said that after a car hit a teenager on a skateboard this spring, concern has mounted and the neighborhood is looking for ways to prevent such accidents from occurring in the future.

“I think a speed hump would be a great idea because cars gain speed as they go down St. Theresa Avenue,” Valenti noted. “Often teenagers, who are beginning driving and don’t have a background in it yet, will come down St. Theresa Avenue too fast, posing a danger to the children from St. Theresa School.  This will help them learn to slow down.”

Vacca’s office contacted St. Theresa parish and school to make sure that his traffic study will not be disruptive in any way, but there do not appear to be any foreseeable problems.

Valenti wondered if the fact that the DOT studies will take place in the summer would make the impact less significant, as children who attend St. Theresa’s School will not be at the site during the 12-week duration.

“I would like to see a study conducted while school is in session,” Valenti explained, “so the DOT can see the impact of the dangerous conditions at this corner.”

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