Every summer the local newspapers and 311 lines are filled with complaints of daredevil racers tearing down Dyckman Street in hot-rods and atop motorbikes.
But if you think the phenomenon is new—-think again.
Inwood historical guru Don Rice discovered this priceless treasure while flipping though a 1905 edition of Harper’s Weekly. The accompanying article describes a speed-trap ordered by then Police Commissioner William McAdoo.
According to the Harper’s article:
“Police Commissioner McAdoo’s determination to check the reckless driving of motor-cars on New York’s highways has resulted in the establishment of a measured course in the Kingsbridge section of the city, with a police-signal station at each end.
The stations are connected by telephone with substations along the line at which the time of fast automobiles is taken.
Bicycle-squad policemen are on duty, some of them mounted on fast motor-cycles, and when a motor-car driver is discovered to be exceeding the speed limit word is telephoned to the signal station towards which he is rushing, and arrest follows.”
Again, a special thanks to Don Rice for uncovering this little Inwood gem.