A Welcome Bump in the Road

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Speed bumps are a pain. Even at 30 mph they can damage the bottom of a passenger car and spill the driver’s coffee. Nobody likes driving over a speed bump. Nevertheless, we are certain the people living along Maurice Avenue in Maspeth welcome the three new speed bumps put into place last week by the city Department of Transportation.

The bumps became necessary when mental midgets refused to stop drag racing on Maurice Avenue. When it became clear the police could not be there 24/7 to stop them, local residents asked for the speed bumps.

“This is over. The races have ended,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer at a news conference announcing the bumps. Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley added, “Now drag racing will no longer happen here on Maurice Avenue.”

We hope they are right. The drag racing is not just loud and annoying, it is dangerous to the drivers, their passengers and anyone else in the area. The DOT hopes to install 102 bumps in the current fiscal year and 160 before it is done.

It is unfortunate that this step is necessary, but if it saves even one life, it is worth the effort.

A New Day in NY Politics

Now that the results are in from the first national census of the 21st century, the state’s political bosses are salivating at the thought of redrawing district lines in a manner that will further partisan interests. Elected officials believe gerrymandering is a legitimate part of the democratic process.

We disagree.

Gerrymandering is the corrupt practice of redrawing district lines to protect incumbents and further partisanship. The lines are drawn without respect to geography and common sense. In the city and state, Republicans and Democrats have engaged in this backroom political manipulation.

In a letter to the editor published last week, Patricia Dolan, president of the Queens Civic Congress, said the time has come to put an end to gerrymandering. We agree. The practice disenfranchises voters and contributes to a feeling of cynicism about the electoral process.

The state Senate has passed a resolution that would create a nonpartisan redistricting commission after the next census — 10 years from now. New York voters cannot wait that long.

Updated 10:49 am, October 12, 2011
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