(The following letter was sent to County Executive Thomas Suozzi and is printed here at the writer's request.)
I closed my letter to you of June 6, 2005 by saying:
As I am not a traffic engineer, I am sure that there are other measures which can be taken to help slow down traffic and get the illegal trucks off this road. Therefore, I am requesting that a traffic study be employed for that purpose and that the resulting recommendations be implemented before a tragedy occurs.
I must have been clairvoyant when I wrote that letter because, to the surprise of no one familiar with the hazards posed by this road, on Aug. 22, 2005, a 19-year-old man was killed on this road when his motorcycle failed to negotiate one of the road's sharp turns. I have enclosed a copy of the face of the police report of that incident for your review.
I recognize that because the four houses on this street only contain a limited number of constituents, our meager voting power is of little interest to politicians, but if we do not count, the remaining taxpayers of Nassau County certainly should. Those taxpayers now likely will have to foot the bill for another multi-million dollar verdict pertaining to yet another, and this time tragic, accident on this street. Moreover another family of Nassau County residents lost a son, an event for which no amount of money can compensate them. And yet you had a chance to take steps which may have avoided all of this if you had just given my letter the serious attention that I requested. My letter even provided you with specific suggestions as to how to slow the speeding and typically overweight traffic. I cannot imagine how much easier I could have made it for you, but nevertheless you, just like Mr. Gulotta, decided to do nothing.
You may recall that I sent you a letter dated June 6, 2005 asking that you do more than your predecessor did and actually take the action that the letter requested. However, just like Mr. Gulotta, you ignored my specific requests and instead referred the matter to Police Commissioner James I. Lawrence, who also did nothing, just passing the buck to the Eighth Precinct, which you guessed it, also did nothing more than have a sergeant call me. I have attached a copy of that letter for your easy reference.
How sad that, even in this election year, you treated this as business as usual. Simply from a costs/benefits analysis, it would have made more sense to contact the County's Department of Highways (and/or whichever other agency is responsible for safe roadways and traffic studies) and instruct them to take action to ensure that the traffic would be forced to travel at speeds closer to the posted 20 to 30 mph limits on it. It seems to me to be highly unlikely that the cost of any or all of those actions would be substantially less than the cost of the inevitable lawsuit and settlement or verdict. The fact that I gave you specific notice of the hazards posed by this road should more than suffice as the notice of defect required before suing a municipality.
By copy of this letter to Police Commissioner Lawrence, I am advising him of this incident (the police department also received specific notice of the road's defects by way of my June 6, 2005 letter) and asking that he, too, be moved to take action by it.
As you can see, I am faxing a copy of this letter and attachments to my local newspaper and asking that it be printed in the letters to the editor (which has previously been done). I also will be sending a copy of it to Mrs. Schmid, the mother of the man killed, as well as faxing or sending a copy of it to Newsday.
It is my fervent hope that for us and for all of the many, many people who use this road on a daily basis, now you will take this matter seriously and actually and actively do something to resolve it once and for all ... before someone else dies.