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Residents of Riverside Drive request ‘speed humps’ to slow down traffic

Some residents of Riverside Drive are asking the Riverhead Town Board to install “speed humps,” which are generally not as high as speed bumps, on that road to slow down traffic as its approaches a sharp bend in the road.

Robert Banfelder and Donna Derasmo of Riverside Drive presented a letter at last Wednesday’s Town Board meeting, read by Mr. Banfelder and signed by them and seven other Riverside Drive residents. The letter was send to the Town Board on Jan. 19, they said. 

“Drivers often fail to negotiate the 90-degree bend along Riverside Drive, hitting and/or downing utility poles, crippling support cables and electrical wires, plowing through and across front yards and damaging neighbors’ properties, smashing into vehicles, nearly crashing into a home.”

He said that previous pleas to the town on this subject over of the past 30 years have “led nowhere.” 

“It’s imperative that the Riverhead Town Board immediately address this ongoing hazardous traffic situation for the welfare of Riverside Drive residents,” the letter said. 

The road is also used by traffic heading into or out of town from Route 105 and East Main Street.

The letter said that speed humps, as opposed to speed bumps, would slow vehicles down to 10 to 15 miles per hour.

This, along with cautious signs at both ends of the 90-degree bend “would be one remedy to this most dangerous situation.”

“The last car that came across our lawn, came through the center,” Ms. Derasmo said, adding that if someone had been mowing the lawn at that time, they would have ended up in the hospital.

“It’s a most grave situation and I would hate to see someone lose life or limb because of it,” she said. 

Mr. Banfelder said the matter gets worst as years go by. 

Ms. Derasmo said she and Mr. Banfelder have met with Highway Superintendent George “Gio” Woodson a couple of times. She said he opposed speed bumps because if drivers take the bend at most then 30 mph, “they will be airborne.”

Boulders, another remedy that has been suggested, she said, must be 10 feet off the road, “which would do absolutely nothing.” 

Councilman Ken Rothwell, a member of the Town Board’s traffic safety committee, told Ms. Derasmo that the board has received their letter and he and Police Chief David Hegermiller and Ms. Woodson plan to visit the site and “determine how this situation can be addressed. We will certainly be working on it to make it as safe as possible.

Chief Hegermiller said he is awaiting statistics showing the number of accidents at that bend.