On March 16, the town held the second Shared Vision Open Forum discussing the subject of support services. The topic areas discussed were infrastructure, traffic/parking, public safety/code enforcement and community services.
The well-attended meeting yielded many good suggestions which hopefully will eventually mitigate the concerns of Port residents, who were enthusiastic and very engaged in the brainstorming of ideas, and also in their group presentations at the end of the evening.
For residents unable to attend the meeting, comments are being taken by the town by either phoning April Brown Lake at 627-4062 or email www.northhempstead.com, the official web site of the visioning process.
At each table a fact sheet was provided listing some informative and thought provoking data about Port Washington as they related to the topics under discussion. Some interesting factoids included:
* Infrastructure includes water provision, sewage management, solid waste collection and disposal and road maintenance.
* In 2003, 1,725 billion gallons of water were pumped from underground aquifers; 1.365 billion gallons of water were consumed by Port Washington Water District and Sands Point consumed 360 million gallons.
* The PWWD, which serves the unincorporated part of PW, Manorhaven, PW North, Baxter Estates, Flower Hill (portion) and Plandome Manor, is capped by the DEC at 1.464 billion gallons per year.
* The winter demand is approx. three million gallons per day.
* The summer demand is approx. five to six million gallons per day.
* Irrigation systems use 70 percent of the annual water supply in the PWWD.
* The PWWD is currently drilling one new well in Christopher Morley Park that is expected to be operable within two years to meet the state requirements for redundant capacity.
* The Sands Point Water Department serves approx. 2,800 people.
* The SPWD's summer demand is 2.5 to 4 million gallons per day, which is eight times as much as winter demand, or about 300,000 to 400,000 gallons per day.
* Sands Point usually exceeds both the annual and five-year average state DEC mandated water caps.
* The sewage system processes about 3 million gallons of sewage per day.
* Roads are owned and maintained by the six villages, and the town, county and state. Port Blvd. is state owned and maintained. The major roads running east and west on the peninsula, Shore Rd., most of Middle Neck Rd. and Main Street are owned and maintained by the county.
* There are three police departments serving the Port Washington peninsula: Port Washington Police, Sands Point Police and Nassau County Police, which serves the village of Manorhaven.
* The Port Washington Fire Department serves the entire peninsula.
* The Town of North Hempstead is responsible for code enforcement within the unincorporated section of Port.
* Each village is responsible for code enforcement within its jurisdiction.
* In 2004, there were more than 2,400 calls for service in Sands Point, including criminal investigations, family offenses, aided cases, traffic accidents and investigations, suspicious circumstances, burglar alarms, etc. The majority of arrests are for vehicle and traffic law violations.
* In 2003, the Port police had 11,691 reported incidents. The number of reported incidents has increased 23 percent since 1997. The largest number of incidents, 22 percent, was for alarms.
* The PWPD made 214 arrests with 544 total charges in 2003.
* The number of narcotics arrests has decreased over 50 percent.
* In 2003, the Nassau County's 6th Precinct responded to 2,397 calls for service in Manorhaven. In 2004, there were 2,506 calls.
* The 6th Precinct made 21 arrests during 2004 and 40 in 2004 ranging from burglaries to minor violations.
* The Port Washington Fire Department is a volunteer fire department with over 280 active members, seven fire houses located around the peninsula and 30 pieces of fire apparatus and support equipment.
* In 2003, the PWFD responded to 1,075 fire calls and 1.412 EMS calls.
* Since 1983, the number of EMS calls has increased 49 percent. Fire calls have increased 132 percent and the number of active PWFD members has decreased 28.5 percent.
* The PWFD strives to work with developers to ensure that all appropriate fire protection measures are included.
* However, the PWPD, may not be aware of development in the planning stages and as such it is more difficult for them to ensure development meets local fire and building codes including sprinklers, clearly marked exits or adequate water main capacity beneath the development.
* The PWPD has been monitoring new construction in the district to ensure that the buildings contain the appropriate fire protection measures.
* While the Port Washington Peninsula has 10,454 households, there are at least 17,000 vehicles on the peninsula. (This estimate does not include those vehicles belonging to the workforces entering the peninsula daily.)
* Over 60 percent of employed Port Washington residents commute to work alone driving a car, truck of van. Only 7 percent of employed Port Washington residents carpooled to work. Approximately 9 percent of employed Port residents work from home or walk to work.
* Prior to 2000, the daily traffic volume on Shore Road by Soundview Drive was 29,043 vehicles and by Main Street it was 24,592.
* According to the New York State Department of Transportation, Port Blvd. from Stonytown Rd. to the junction of Beacon Hill Rd. and Main Street has the highest level of daily traffic of any section of Port Blvd.
* According the Nassau County Planning Commission over 6,500 vehicles traveled along Harbor Road between Shore Road and Port Blvd.
* Port Blvd. had the highest number of accidents, 631, with injury during the period 1990-2001, followed by Main Street-293, Shore Road-214 and North Plandome Road-59. Most accidents with injuries occurred in the daylight, on dry roads, and with another moving vehicle.
* The number of traffic accidents with injuries has decreased 29 percent since 1990.
* The LIRR stop on Main Street has a morning peak ridership level of approximately 2,500. The railroad's commuter parking capacity in its lot is 884 spots.
* Community services address the needs of a population including seniors, children, teenagers, working parents, the unemployed and the poor. Forty percent of the peninsula population is either over 65 or under 19 years of age. About 4 percent of the peninsula's households are below the poverty level. There are many nonprofit, governmental and religious organizations providing services to those in need in Port.
* The median family income is $102,064 and over 20 percent of families earn over $200,000 annually. The median family income is $20,818 higher than the median family income for Nassau County.
* The median household income, which includes family and individual households, is $85,086 annually with 5.5 percent of individuals and 4 percent of families living below the poverty level.
* More than half of the Port Washington peninsula population over 25 has earned at least a bachelor's degree. In Nassau County, this percentage is 35.4.
* The school district's 2003-2004 enrollment is 4,738 students in grades K-12. By 2010-2011 the annual enrollment is anticipated to increase approximately 2 percent to 4,816 students.
* In 2002-2003, the school district was 70.8 percent white; l3.8 Hispanic; 2.5 African American; 12.9 percent Asian, American Indian, Alaskan or Pacific Islander. The average class size in the district was 19.3 students.
* Approx. 6 percent were eligible for free lunches.
* Approx. 754 special education students attend the schools.
* Approx. 30 percent of families have children under 6 years of age. In nearly half of these families, both parents are employed.
* Single parent households with children under 18 years of age comprise 14.8 percent of the families on the Port peninsula.
The following is a summary of issues/concerns/suggestions discussed at the Shared Vision: Port Washington Peninsula Support Services Open Forum and emails received after the forum. To reiterate, the four main topic areas discussed at this Open Forum were infrastructure, traffic/parking, public safety/code enforcement, and community services. Issues and concerns raised are summarized within each topic area by common themes. Many groups made suggestions to address the issues and concerns and these are listed in the summary. Finally some groups offered suggestions for possible walking tours during the Design Event Weekend, which are listed in the summary as well.
• Control housing development and population growth
• There is a need for moderate income housing
- Offer incentives, including tax incentives for affordable housing.
- Next generation housing for young workers (20 and 30-year-olds).
- Housing for older residents with lower incomes.
- We need more economical housing like the Landmark.
- Make senior housing more accessible.
• More mixed use development in developed areas
- Especially on Main Street.
• Solid Waste Collection
- Better enforcement of garbage rules.
- Need more trash cans.
- Increased enforcement of garbage regulations along Main Street because stores are putting their trash out too early prior to pick-up.
- Solid Waste - where does it go? How will it be handled as we grow? Will cost rise as the Port Washington Peninsula grows?
- We need a comprehensive waste management plan (Tompkins County).
- Increase the number of waste baskets and pick ups on Main Street.
- Better code enforcement on dumpsters behind stores.
- Increase recycling opportunities.
- We need to increase recycling.
- The cost of recycling for public institutions can be prohibitive. Investigate incentives to encourage recycling at these institutions.
• Concern about high irrigation water use
- There should be separate metering for irrigation use.
- Encourage fewer lawns and use of drought resistant plants.
- Investigate using sewer or 'grey water' for large irrigation needs.
- Can we provide enough water with the new developments such as Mill Pond, Thompson properties, Manhasset Isle/Typhin Steel?
- How large is the water supply?
- Promote conservation of water.
- Improve enforcement of water laws.
- Promote use of systems that turn off in rain.
• Don't change control of water district - keep the current administration
• Concern about the effect of overdevelopment on the water supply
• Concern about water quality
- Salt intrusion.
- Pollution sources.
• Road Maintenance
- With so many different jurisdictions (town/Nassau county/state/village) maybe consider consolidating responsibilities.
- Conduct an inventory of the condition of the road on the peninsula.
- Roads are not engineered for current population.
- Enforce restoration after KeySpan and other vendors use and tear up the roads.
- The state/condition of the roads have decreased. Why aren't they being maintained?
- More development increases the number of cars on roads.
- Leaf and road waste removal from public roads.
- Need for additional lighting along roads.
- Beautify Main Street with old lights, benches and repaving.
- Bury overhead power lines.
- Increase sweeping of LIRR parking areas.
- Coordinate planning between utilities and town with regard to scheduling maintenance projects (example: street repaving, then ripped up by a utility company).
• Whose responsibility is maintenance of the sidewalks?
• Investigate the locations of curb cuts along Main Street.
• Improve drainage
• Sewage treatment
- Sewage treatment is okay but remote areas not serviceable - aerodrome.
- Can we handle capacity with future development?
• We need one place to call for information such as 311 - in New York City.
• Must have common consensus among all villages so that no one village dominates.
• Incorporate the Town of Port Washington.
• There should be referendum voting on all issues - mandatory.
• Taxes - enough is enough.
• Cablevision is a monopoly.
• Support local merchants.
• Continue audits of all special districts.
• Increase parking options.
- Create a parking master plan to increase parking options.
- More parking - parking garages, tiered parking, and parking for employees.
- Fit more parking in existing space.
- Need more parking at the train station.
- Utilize existing paved open space for parking.
- Increase access to parking behind storefronts.
- Open railroad parking to shoppers after 2 p.m.
- Consider tiered parking at railroad station.
- No tiered parking at any venue because it is unsafe and ugly.
- Conduct a study to see who would really come into Port to park if parking were not restricted.
• Increase the time allowed on the meters to greater than 1 hour.
• Increase traffic calming and pedestrian friendly crossings.
- Need more traffic calming and pedestrian friendly crossings at Shore Road
- Increase crosswalks.
- Reprogram Main Street traffic pattern.
- Institute traffic calming measures at the intersection of Shore Road
- There is a need for crossing guards from Beacon to Summit.
- Limit vehicular traffic during certain times for pedestrian use.
• Better enforcement of traffic laws
- There is a lack of enforcement of red lights.
- Install red light cameras.
- Enforce speed limits.
- Reduce double parking on Main Street.
- Enforce parking limitations.
- More efficient police enforcement.
- Commercial traffic enforcement necessary.
- Restrictions and enforcement of commercial vehicles using side streets instead of main roads.
• Expand public transportation options
- Consider creating shuttle bus service on the Port Washington peninsula.
- Shuttle bus to bring people from Hempstead Harbor for train, around town for shopping.
- Shuttle from Town Dock.
- Create a trolley system subsidized by the town.
- Evaluate jitney service.
• Increase number of bike lanes.
• Make Port Washington Peninsula more bicycle friendly.
- Parking for bikes, authorize use of Segway (road use) scooters, etc.
- Limit truck access to roads by weight.
• Relieve traffic congestion by campus drive.
- Encourage more children to ride school buses to school.
- Limit student parking.
- Limit students driving to school access to student parking during non-school hours.
• Need to limit amount of cars in driveways.
• Address parking needs for commercial plated vehicles as town doesn't want commercial plated cars parking in private driveways. Where do they park?
• Codes need to be revisited and made current with times.
• Expand accessible transportation for seniors/handicapped in addition to standard transportation.
- Increase handicap parking.
• Create a traffic master plan.
• Traffic safety issues
- Center turn lane on PW Blvd. from Willowdale Ave.
- Traffic light - Bogart Avenue - Port Blvd.
- Return mailboxes to homes instead of at the post office to eliminate traffic at Main Street and Port Washington Blvd.
- General congestion - lower Main Street, key intersections
- Traffic light timing.
- Reconfigure intersection at post office.
- Turning lane extended on Campus Drive to Willowdale (on Port Blvd.).
- Additional turning signals at intersections.
- Post office/Beacon Hill Road intersection.
- Extended turn lanes on PW Blvd. from Main Street to Willowdale.
- Explore right turn only restrictions at certain congested traffic location during peak hours.
- Explore building an additional artery to go through to West Shore Road.
- Re-time light in town especially Sandy Hollow/ Harbor Road, Sands Point.
- Reduce speed limit on Port Washington Boulevard.
- Enforce speed limit on Shore Road.
• Explore receiving a grant for traffic study.
• Code Enforcement
- Increase enforcement of garbage rules - encourage cleanup by property owners.
- Increase resources and pass more stringent laws for code enforcement.
- Enforce existing codes addressing commuters parking illegally.
- Increase code enforcement of illegal housing.
- One code enforcement group - one set of rules - one standard.
- Address quality of life measures especially clean sidewalks.
- Dog leash law.
- Code enforcement of snow removal.
- Snow removal - sidewalks on Port Washington Boulevard, Shore Road, and Main Street.
- Code enforcement of noise.
- Illegal cell phone use while driving.
- Enforce noise regulations - no honking signs like NYC.
- Leaf blowers/lawn mowing time of day regulations.
- Reduce loitering/blocking sidewalks.
- Address illegal parking on sidewalks.
• Need better/equitable enforcement of existing laws - unified/common among police departments.
- There is an uneven police response time - would consolidation improve this?
- Police presently working at capacity.
• Enforcement - intermunicipal with accountability.
• Explore paid vs. volunteer fire protection.
• Ambulances - very good response time. Explore changing from volunteer to paid force.
• Explore community watch enforcers.
• Need disaster management plan information.
• Address drug trafficking.
• New development should adhere to emergency service recommendations (police, EMS, Fire).
• Concern about gang activity.
• Fire department - address how to encourage more members in high expense area.
• Concern about the cost of fire department
• There is a long wait when calling 911.
• Tie 911 into PW Police and Fire Department instead of independent phone numbers.
• Unified government - INCORPORATION.
• Increase youth activities
- Increase activities for teens.
- Need more organized activities for children instead of hanging out.
- Create activities for "busy kids and hangout kids".
- Improve the Teen Center.
- Expand Port Washington Library programs.
• Increase employment opportunities for teenagers during the summer, including outdoor employment.
• Need for affordable childcare
- Convert "underground daycare" to licensed care
• Increase early childhood - pre-kindergarten programs.
• Need for expanded senior services.
• Upgrade recreational facilities and parks.
- Upgrade Hempstead Harbor Park.
- Create a skateboard park.
- Explore upgrades to Manorhaven Park including enclosing pool to become a year-round facility.
- Need more playing fields.
- Need more pools.
- Reopen children's bicycle path at Manorhaven Park.
- Need for dog park.
• Port Washington Public Library- "kudos to the library".
• Need for affordable housing for families and young singles.
• Create an interagency council.
• All activities should be culturally relevant to diverse population.
• Provide transportation to access activities.
• Reduce gangs.
• Create a social services help center to help residents access services.
• Need a women's center.
• Teen activities - including community services.
• Improve access to library and landmark for Harbor Homes Community.
• Create satellite libraries around the peninsula.
• Create an evening pediatric walk in medical center on the peninsula
• Increase parking on the peninsula
• Promote alternative means of transportation
• Increase commuter and shopper parking
• Create one set of rules for code enforcement
• Improve use of Manorhaven Park facility including enclosing the pool to use all year.
• Create an indoor recreation facility including a field house for soccer and lacrosse.
• Increase recycling opportunities.
• Improve maintenance, construction and safety of sidewalks.
• Reduce traffic congestion.
• Manorhaven Park
• Long Island Rail Road parking lots
• 38 Birch Street - Mackey and Haven
• 71 Main Street
• Harbor Road East to West
• Shore Road - Manorhaven Blvd.
• Town Dock area
• Sheets Creek
• Manorhaven behind Beer store - empty lots
• Irma and Sandy Hollow
• Port Washington Water Pollution Control District sewage treatment plant.
• Port Washington Landfill
• Long Island Rail Road train station
• High school parking lot
• East side of Shore Road from Main Street to King Kullen (Soundview Marketplace)
• Main Street
• Beacon Hill Rd to Bar Beach