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97 Percent of Drivers Speed Near Hudson Heights School, DOT Found

By Nigel Chiwaya | March 28, 2013 7:23am
 Almost all of the cars tracked by the DOT near P.S. 187 were speeding.
Almost all of the cars tracked by the DOT near P.S. 187 were speeding.
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DNAinfo/Carla Zanoni

NORTHERN MANHATTAN — Nearly all motorists tracked near P.S. 187 Hudson Cliffs in Hudson Heights speed through the streets, according to new data from the city Department of Transportation.

The department's 2012 traffic safety statistics show that 97 percent of drivers were found to be speeding within a quarter-mile radius of the uptown elementary school, located on Cabrini Boulevard between West 187th and West 190th streets.

The department's statistics come as DOT officials said they want to install cameras near schools to catch speedsters after the number of traffic deaths in the five boroughs spiked.

Last month, the 34th Precinct faced criticism over the low total of speeding tickets written by its officers in Washington Heights and Inwood.

Brad Aaron, a writer at Streetsblog, has repeatedly pointed out that only two parking tickets were written by cops in the precinct following the establishment of a neighborhood slow zone in Inwood.

Sixteen speeding tickets were written by the precinct in January and February 2013.

Precinct Commanding Officer Barry Buzzetti defended his officers against the charges of lax speed enforcement at February's Community Council meeting, saying officers need to use radar guns to assess speed. The layout of the streets in the 34th Precinct, he added, aren't conducive to radar use.

Instead, Buzzetti said the department employs other methods of traffic control, including ticketing for reckless driving and illegal turns.

"We send our guys out there, [but] it's not always going to be speeding summonses," Buzzetti said at the meeting. "I'm concerned with getting the job done more than about the stats.

"The speeding summonses are less important to me than knowing that there's speeding going on [West] 181st and sending someone over to take care of it," he added.