August 21, by Nathaly Pesantez
A Forest Hills man has created a petition calling for safer roads and streets in the neighborhood that is quickly gaining traction among supporters.
The petition, created three days ago by Chris Caballero, demands speed bumps and stop signs to be installed throughout Forest Hills to curb the number of car crashes and accidents in the area.
Caballero, who has lived on the corner of 72ND Avenue and Kessel Street for about a year and a half, said the petition came after witnessing countless speeding cars and near accidents right outside his home. An Aug. 8 accident involving two cars, however, was the final straw.
Caballero said an SUV was going down on Kessel street and crashed into a sedan driving on 72nd Avenue after the driver of the SUV failed to stop at the sign.
“Because Kessel is a one-way street, people tend to be very careless at this stop right here,” Caballero said. “The ladies that were driving the SUV just rode right over the stop.”
Caballero posted his concerns on several neighborhood Facebook groups, and found that many users recalled close calls and accidents on other streets within Forest Hills.
“There have been over ten horrific accidents in Forest Hills as a result of drivers recklessly speeding down our blocks,” the petition reads.
In the neighboring Rego Park, a 75-year-old woman was struck by a car in April, and another man was struck in a hit-and-run incident early August. August also saw a Kew Gardens man killed by a minivan while crossing the street, and another person killed while crossing Yellowstone Boulevard.
Caballero said he hopes to grab the attention of elected officials with the petition, which has garnered over 250 signatures as of Monday afternoon. He hopes they will support his aim of installing more speed bumps and stop signs.
“It touches a lot of people because they experience this everyday,” Caballero said. “We’ve heard nothing but good things from people—it’s a good thing to have in place.”
The petition will be delivered to the DOT Queens borough commissioner Nicole Garcia, councilmember Karen Koslowitz and Anne Marie Boranian, the director of constituent services at the office of the Queens borough president.