Last week's issue of the Great Neck Record included a ''Letter to the Editor'' from Jon Mostel, village justice for the Village of Great Neck. Mr. Mostel explained that holiday traffic near synagogues would ''become intolerable'' without parking law enforcement, and he asked those who received tickets not to be offended, but to understand the importance of ''no parking'' areas.
We applaud Mr. Mostel's integrity and his honesty. We sincerely appreciate his insistence on following the law, his real regard for public safety and his genuine concern in making his actions clear to the public.
And we agree with Mr. Mostel that there is never an excuse to park illegally. The late Alan Gussack, former mayor of Great Neck Plaza, always admonished illegal parkers with the words ''you park illegally, you could kill someone.'' And he was right. Among a whole list of problems, an illegally parked car often blocks the view of the road and can thus be the direct cause of a deadly accident. There is never ever an excuse for blocking a fire hydrant. And it is just plain rude and inconsiderate to encroach on or block driveways.
There is always, always a reason for a ''no parking'' sign, a very valid reason. When an enticing, convenient ''parking spot'' has signage or road striping that clearly denotes no parking, that really does mean no parking. If you stop ''just for a minute'' to shop and park illegally you are putting someone else's life in danger.
Just this morning I parked along Middle Neck Road in the Old Village. The ''spot'' in front of me was striped to preclude parking. When I came out of the store, a huge SUV had parked in that illegal spot, blocking my view of the corner as well as blocking my view of the Middle Neck Road/Arrandale Avenue/Hicks Lane intersection. I asked the owner of the SUV to move her vehicle, but she refused, saying she really did not care. I moved my own SUV, very, very carefully.
During certain religious holidays, villages such as the Village of Great Neck do lift time limits on legal parking spots, in order to accommodate those attending religious services. However, never ever does any village lift ''no parking'' restrictions. To do so would put drivers and pedestrians at risk. If the local authorities do not penalize illegal parkers, then they too are adding to the problem of putting all of our lives at risk.
So, please, do follow parking laws; do not park illegally. Maybe the woman I encountered this morning does not care about my life or your life, but I bet she cares about her own life and the lives of her loved ones. Park legally! Care about life!
- Wendy K. Kreitzman