The Incorporated Village of Farmingdale has always been blessed with a village board that works tirelessly for the betterment of the village. The current village board is upholding this tradition. Since Mayor Graf, Deputy Mayor Rachiele and Trustee Langdon have been elected, they have been trying to secure a federal grant for a traffic calming project for Prospect Street.
Sometime in the late spring, the village was notified that Senator Kemp Hannon's office has secured $180,000 for a Prospect Street calming project if the village residents pay with village funds an additional $30,000.
Traffic calming is a new fad that is being encouraged by New York State. The goal of a traffic calming project is to discourage traffic from using a particular street and/or slow traffic speed on the street. I have lived on Prospect Street for over 25 years and in my opinion this traffic calming project will not achieve its goals and will hurt my neighbor's property values.
This traffic calming project involves the installation of eight chokers, two speed tables complete with crosswalks with some sort of colored brick pattern in the crosswalk and several speed platforms that intend to reduce traffic speed and "emit virtually no noise." The illustrations on the state's website display these measures successfully being used on Montauk Highway, Pulaski Road and other commercial roads that have a double yellow line and/or office buildings with large parking lots. Prospect Street is an old, quaint residential street that does not require a double yellow line. Prospect Street already has six stop signs and many no parking signs predominately near St. Luke's Fellowship Hall. The street does not need eight chokers, two additional crosswalks and several speed platforms that will emit some noise.
I cannot understand why village board members would want to install eight chokers in front of my neighbors' homes. The chokers are a permanent extension from the curb of either 8 or 9 feet and another exact choker will be installed directly across the street. If two cars pass each other at the same time in the location of the chokers as on busy streets, such as Montauk Highway or Pulaski Road, the choker slows down traffic on those busy commercial streets. However, Prospect Street traffic is not Montauk Highway or Pulaski Road. Most cars will pass the choker simply by driving near the middle of the street. In my opinion, it will be rare that two cars pass a Prospect Street choker at the same time. Therefore, these chokers would be effectively useless.
A choker is similar to an SUV that is parked about a foot to 18 inches away from the curb. If two cars are parked across the street from each other, the village has a natural mini-choker. A natural mini-choker is preferable than a permanent structure that will not allow a neighbor to park a car in front of his home. Each of these chokers eliminate one to one-and-a-half parking spaces in front of the home it is placed. Residents expect to be able to park their car in front of their home or have visitors park in front of their curb. The installation of these ineffectual chokers will severely limit the ability to park a car in front of a resident's home. I doubt that any village trustee would want one of these chokers placed in front of their home, therefore please do not approve the placement of a choker in front of another resident's home. These chokers only choke the property value of the home where it is placed.
I have heard trustee's state that you must accept this money since it is a gift. It is not entirely a gift. Remember, village residents have to pay $30,000 for this gift. This gift will forever change Prospect Street's look with eight chokers, two painted bricklike crosswalks and several speed tables that will emit some noise. If the village obtained a grant to build pedestrian bridges over Main Street, or install a water tower on the village green, I would think the village board would politely reject the grant. I request the village board politely reject this traffic calming grant. The money spent will not achieve the desired goal of traffic calming, the grant will adversely affect resident's property values and Prospect Street would no longer look like a residential street.
Although Prospect Street residents have not been notified as of Oct. 9, I understand the village is planning a public hearing and possibly will approve this grant on Monday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Please come and let your voice be heard on this matter.
William A. Barrett