Fear and Speeding in Long Beach

I recently met with Long Beach Streets NY at Gentle Brew where we got into an interesting conversation regarding the speeding issue in Long Beach. We talked a lot about the lowering of speed limits and what kind of impact it has made. While I do agree it’s a step in the right direction, most drivers are still not obeying that law. Why? Because they know they can get away with speeding. I see it all the time, whether I’m in the Presidents area or Park Avenue. What driving in Long Beach really lacks is fear.

Malverne and Garden City are two examples of local towns that we talked about where you obey the speeding laws, no matter what. I know when I’m in those areas, I always get that feeling that I’m being watched; as if the fear of getting pulled over is imprinted into my driving-DNA.  I feel none of that when I drive in Long Beach.

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36 thoughts on “Fear and Speeding in Long Beach”

  1. Justb was listening to Brian Lehrer interview Mary Beth Kelly of Families for Safe Streets as she described the various benefits to drivers and peds from studies done on cities that have adopted “20 is plenty” as a default for residential neighborhoods. 47% reduction in fatalities in London and improved travel times for cars. But listeners from NYC, whose City Council supports the change, sang the same reprieve in their call ins: “What about enforcement?”. So many report what I see in LB. There is a wonton disregard of present limits, sometimes beyond excessive, with very little enforcement. Not in Malverne and GC. Why not in LB? Why not neighborhood speed enforcement? Why some many cars cracking 50mph on Park Ave. where my neighbor just lost his life?

  2. The cops have so much more fun ticketing skaters and cyclists, Its more intimidating, and a lot less work. 30 is good for streets, 20 for schools, and 40 on Lido Blvd all works if folks obey the rules.

  3. I just returned from California where cars must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Tickets are definitely given to drivers who do not stop or who even cross a certain line on the road. Every time I go there, it amazes me how this works because there are cars everywhere! Plus, the streets and sidewalks are clean. Maybe it’s the sunshine..,! Lol

  4. I took a long walk yesterday with my three year old through town …it was scary! Crossing LB Road is like playing “frogger.” Next to Aboff’s paints they are doing construction on the sidewalk, and you have to WALK onto Park Ave in order to walk East … terrifying! And everyone drives way TOO fast.

  5. Let’s not forget that there are 3 E’s, education, engineering and enforcement and they’re all important. Spring is prime time for an education campaign – and it would be great if Long Beach Streets NY and the City Manager can get something off the ground.

    As for engineering, the excess capacity (width) of some of our streets actually invites speeding. West Olive in the center of town is one of these streets. Park Avenue is another.

    Engineering doesn’t have to cost big bucks. One way to convert a wide, fast street to a narrower, slower street is to simply stripe a narrow lane, as was done in the Bronx (Claremont Neighborhood Slow Zone, the first pilot in the city,) . Another way to accomplish this is to install a bike lane.

    Yes, we need the police on board with enforcement. But the goal of a good campaign is to change behavior, not to raise revenue or to torment drivers.

    To truly address speeding, the city has to make a commitment to safety for all users. And then act on it. I think we’re all chomping at the bit to get something going.

  6. There is nothing wrong with the speed limits in long beach. 40 on Lido Blvd? In case you haven’t noticed, its 20 now in one section where there will soon be a speed camera to enforce it. Hundreds of LB residents are going to be ticketed by that camera, because the 20MPH speed limit there is crazy. 30MPH was barely adhered to, every single car exceeds the 20MPH limit in the school zone – because the limit is too low.

  7. Again, talk is cheap without any knowledge of the law.

    In order to legally enforce a speed limit change, the proposed speed limit has to be within the 80th percentile of timed drivers. This is federal regulation. A community can’t just erect signs and pass a law.

    If you want a 20 MPH speed limit, 80% of the drivers clocked in a study must be driving at or below that speed. Then you have jurisdiction to pass an ordnance to enforce that speed.

    If a jurisdiction wants a lower speed than the 80 percentile, it must engage an independent traffic engineer, licensed by the State. They must show cause, other than a “groups feelings,” for the reduction.

    Without this 80 percentile rule, a knowledgeable attorney would have a speeding ticket tossed on appeal.

    Again, we see the value of our the republican system of government to protect us from “mass rule,” popular feelings and the ideas of the uninformed.

    what this law supports is the premise that unless the people who use the road agree with the speed limit, some special interest can’t change it for their benefit. The road belongs to the public, not a special interest group or the resident who lives there.

    Kind of neat country we live in, isn’t it?

  8. It must not apply in a school zone, because the new 20MPH speed on Lido Blvd has 0% compliance. When I ride through there, I stay in the right lane and drive just below 30MPH – every single car is passing me. There is 0% compliance there, which is why the speed camera there will bring in 100s of thousands of dollars in fines – every single car exceeds it, and they run the speed zone from 7AM-6PM.

  9. The police hide out on the eastern stretches of Lido Blvd and hand out tickets all the time. But I’ve never seen them in the residential and school areas. Probably no place to hide and also no place to pull over and issue the ticket.

  10. How about people speeding on WALNUT Street? Residential block that runs east/west just one street south of Park Avenue? People take Walnut to avoid the traffic lights on Park Ave. It’s a horror for parents – and I NEVER see a LBPD car staked out on any of the cross streets to catch speeders. They’d make a fortune in ticket revenue … and keep residents safer.

  11. Yes.That’s the answer. Narrow ALL the streets. Like in West End. Of course that hasn’t slowed anyone down there where cars routinely race along the narrow streets endangering everyone and everything.
    Why do you think speed bumps were installed after years of residents complaints and petitions?
    And how much would it cost to narrow all the streets?
    Would it put the final nail in the bankruptcy coffin being built for our City By The Sea?
    More importantly why do I waste my time responding to Inane proposals like this?
    Time to call my shrink and get some therapy and a medication change.

  12. Streets too wide? Never heard of anything so ridiculous. All side streets should have some sort of sign up – Caution – Children Playing – like they do with “Deaf or Autistic Child Area.” and the streets should be better patrolled. Of late, I have seen a number of police survaillence vehicles on Park Avenue, but not on side Streets. I have noticed that there have been less people blowing stop signs of late.

  13. Exactly what this article says will solve most excessive and dangerous speeding, blowing lights and or stop signs. Simply start ticketing offenders every single day. The message will quickly get out ….follow the laws or get delayed, get a ticket and watch your car insurance rates go up. The city makes money, people obey the laws, the streets are safer. Win/Win. The current speed limit is not the problem. Zero police presence and enforcement is the problem. Let me add that double parking on Park Ave should be added to the list. Why do people think it’s OK to just stop in the middle of a driving lane on a main street?

  14. And if narrowing them isn’t good enough – then just close the streets, that will solve the speeding problem for sure.

  15. Because there’s no penalty attached to doing it. That’s why.
    LB has never had enforcement and probably never will.
    A few years back one cop started enforcing seatbelt infractions and was bombarded with complaints about being too harsh so he disappeared from the scene.
    TILB. Nothing ever changes.

    How is the group doing who are meeting to resolve the parking problem?

  16. Believe it or not, Park Avenue is wider than it should be. Narrowing them will calm traffic, its been proven. I did a post on this a few years ago where I measured the road and compared to other roads on the island. Park Avenue is wide, which gives drivers a sense of security that allows them to drive faster. They could probably cut about 5 feet off, narrow the lanes and give us a wider sidewalk/bike lane. this wouldn’t effect ‘traffic’, it will just calm it. Win-win.

  17. The speed limits feel a lot more normal in garden city. Between the lights, school buses and speed limits – it’s amazing anyone can get in or out of Long Beach in an adequate amount of time. The 20 mph speed limit is crazy, as is the school zone not that close to the school. Benign behavior has been criminalized and residents are punished.

  18. Double Parking on Park Avenue has been a problem for the longest time – especially in front of the delis – and if you ask the double parker to move they get nasty. Free lunch for police to ignore double parking? I wonder….. In any event, hopefully I am wrong and something will be done about it. There has been an increased police presence on East Park, but none on the side streets that I could see. Changing the speed limit to 20 may sound safe, but its going to cause extreme road rage – not safe. Just in front of the schools, ok?

  19. If there is an area of heightened usage by students going and coming from school then there should be a speed limit to reflect that fact regardless of the distance From the actual school building, IMHO.

  20. We should just ban all cars in Long Beach, this is the obvious solution. Long Beach should be a community only comprised of retirees, independently wealthy hipsters and wiggle-boarders. Screw you people that go to work every day, live somewhere else!

  21. Parking on the far East End is about to get far more interesting, they just sold the triple lot next to the Executive Towers. The ad for the property listed it as a potential building property…like there’s room for even one more car there.

  22. The 25MPH speed limit on the AB bridge is there for one reason only – to allow the village of Atlantic Beach speed trap revenue. They know no one drives 25 across a 3 lane bridge, so its easy money.

  23. I’d like to see where the toll receipts go. They are meant to pay for the maintenance of the bridge. Anyone know how to get a look at the records?

  24. The tolls were to pay for the construction of the bridge bond and end when the Bonds were paid. Now the tolls are used to pay toll collectors who are political appointees. Why not use Easy Pass.

  25. Just tried to go 20mph today in that zone, I literally was like a stopped car in the middle of a 6 lane highway. Impossible, and likely negligent to even drive that slow. Completely retarded, and I mean retarded in the most offensive way possible.

    20mph is a good speed for driving down the president’s streets or narrow west end blocks, not a main thoroughfare. Maybe instead of crippling everyone who has actual jobs you should teach your kids not to be in the street. Just another soccer mom outrage disaster like MADD. #omgthinkofthekids

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