Drag racing causes fear and loathing on Belt Parkway, Shore Road
Many residential neighborhoods in Brooklyn report problems
with impatient motorists travelling above the safe speed limits, even running red lights. But Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights residents face a more serious safety problem along the Belt Parkway and the contiguous, parallel Shore Road, which is residential.
During a 68th Precinct Community Council meeting via Zoom in May, locals expressed their concerns on speeding in the area. One resident said motorists terrorize Shore Road, then loop around Belt Parkway’s Exit 1 and 2 every night and during the day. Drag racing is one of the causes, some of those attending the meeting said.
“We concentrate a lot of our efforts on Shore Road, especially at nighttime,” Capt. Andrew Tolson, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, said. “I will reiterate that to the platoon commander and my officers on the late tour to address any kind of speeding on Shore Road.”
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Councilmember Justin Brannan have been in contact with the commanding officer for NYPD Highway Patrol, Inspector Nicole Papamichael, to ask the NYPD for increased enforcement on the streets of Bay Ridge and on the Belt Parkway during nighttime hours.
Thus far, several arrests have been made and summonses issued.
NYPD statistics state that year to date as of May, 2,117 enforcement summonses have been issued on the Belt Parkway, with 1,786 of them being for speeding or reckless driving. In addition, 27 arrests for DWI or reckless driving were made on the Belt Parkway. On Shore Road, 34 speeding tickets were given out.
In addition, 15 DWI arrests have been made within the 62nd and 68th precincts year-to-date.
In Bay Ridge, there have been 321 summonses for reckless driving and 255 speed enforcement summonses during the same period.
Gounardes claims that strides have been made in cracking down on speeding in these southern Brooklyn areas, saying that to date, more than 80 percent of enforcement summonses issued for the entire stretch of the Belt Parkway were for reckless driving or speeding.
“We are working closely with the NYPD to address drag racing and reckless driving on our streets and on the Belt Parkway after dark,” Brannan said. “This is about public safety and basic quality of life.”
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