No More Parking Peekaboo

To the Editor:

Thank you for your previous coverage of our efforts to make Skillman Avenue safer for pedestrians, particularly children, the elderly and the disabled.

The letter by Al Volpe that you printed on November 28 contained numerous inaccuracies.  Here are some corrections for the benefit of your readers:

  • We are asking for two or three parking spaces to be converted to sidewalk at three intersections on Skillman Avenue: 51st Street, 52nd Street and 55th Street.  That is a maximum of nine for the entire residential/commercial stretch of Skillman.  No more than that.
  • We are asking to reduce the width of the travel lanes by one of these three strategies: a bike lane, wider sidewalks or angle parking.  We are not asking to remove any travel lanes from Skillman Avenue.
  • At the corner of 52nd and Skillman, between 1995 and 2005 there were six (6) crashes resulting in pedestrian injury.
  • At the same corner there was another crash in May when a young girl was hit by a driver who failed to stop at the stop sign.  Fortunately the girl was not seriously injured.

All of this information has been printed in the Heraldand on our website at  We have also tried to correct Al’s misapprehensions in person several times.  We hope that your other readers will take these facts into account.

We are pleased that Al has taken some time from his other activities to make constructive suggestions.  We  agree that a speed bump near the intersection would greatly improve safety in the crosswalk.  We would further suggest that the speed bump be placed in the crosswalk, creating a raised crosswalk.  This type of improvement has been saving lives around the world for years, and it would be an excellent complement to the visibility improvement that we have requested.

On September 19th, we collected over 200 signatures from neighborhood residents, including 30 from residents of the Berkeley Towers, in support of converting the parking spaces to sidewalk.  Old and young, drivers and non-drivers, agreed that the intersection would be safer without cars parked there.  We hope that Herald readers will join us in our efforts.