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DOT Commish: Speed Cushions On Staten Island Doing The Job

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The city Department of Transportation is trying out a new kind of speed bump on Staten Island that is proving to be a challenge for some drivers to navigate.

They are not your father's speed bumps.

Instead of the traditional ones that stretch from one side of the roadway to the other, there are the ones that CBS2's Marcia Kramer saw on Monday. They were installed as part of a pilot program on Henderson Avenue in the Randall Manor section of Staten Island. They are cut into sections, which some drivers find confusing.

"It's wack. I don't like it," Stephanie Dejesus said.

"It's a little difficult, sometimes a bridge too far," Vernon Long added.

Staten Island speed cushion
A new NYC Department of Transportation pilot program features odd looking speed bumps in one Staten Island neighborhood. (Photo: CBS2)

Because the speed bumps -- they're actually called "speed cushions" -- don't go all the way across, drivers don't know exactly how to go over them.

One wheel on the speed bump; one wheel on the smooth?

Both wheels on the raised part?

Steer so both wheels avoid the bump?

CBS2's Kramer saw it all on Monday.

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Members of the community wanted the speed cushions because there have been numerous accidents along Henderson, involving not only drivers but pedestrians as well, including a person on a bicycle.

In one accident last January, a speeding driver lost control and hit a tree. He survived but lost both legs.

"It is a new treatment and I know it will take people a little time to get used to," Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. "Part of the virtue of it is we do want you to slow down."

And some in the community are happy about the initiative the city has taken.

"I love it. It's gonna save some lives and we have kids walking through here. Makes it much safer," resident Mervin McCray said.

"I love them. They should put more, because my car has been hit twice parked in front of my house," Jennifer Marrera said, adding when asked if they are difficult to drive around, "No, but I've seen motorcycles go right through the middle of them."

Trottenberg she decided to try the speed cushions because she didn't think a traditional speed bump would work as well.

The speed cushions were installed about three weeks ago and are already showing results. The commissioner told Kramer average speeds have decreased as much as 30 percent.

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