Having received numerous complaints of the installation of no-turn signs on PW Boulevard limiting access into the Park Section, posing a hazardous condition, in representation of the Park Civic Association, I attended the regularly scheduled PWPD Police Commissioner's meeting held on Wednesday, Oct. 24. The police department at these meetings is open to hear issues relating to safety and traffic.
At the public input part, I related my concern that the installation of these signs is beyond inconvenience. These changes were made without prior notification to the community and without the input of the local residents who best understand the local traffic. Prior to my attendance I was apprised that a traffic meeting, last year, had taken place between the police, NY State DOT, and Steve Kaplan, a volunteer member (residing in PW North) of the Town of North Hempstead's Traffic Committee. I now inquired as to whether NY State's DOT may have at that time thought that the community had been consulted. The police and Mr. Kaplan separately each replied that they had not an inkling of the inclusion and or installation of the no-turn signs at any meeting. It was further stated that they first learned of the signs only after they were installed. The police informed me that Route 101 is a state road whose traffic is regulated by the NY State Department of Transportation.
At this meeting, I took exception to a statement made by Mr. Kaplan, a regular participant at police traffic and safety meetings. Mr. Kaplan stated that the Park Civic Association should abstain from interfering lest we undo traffic planning that he and others have taken years to bring about on the part of the NY State DOT.
My response was that "Such a view, absent the input and consideration of the local residents, is arrogance!" My indignation aimed at the stated opinion was, apparently, more than one of our police commissioners could withstand or perhaps fully understand. Commissioner Zimbardi, agitated by my emphatic concern cautioned me in regard to conduct. Regardless, the point was made that the affected local residents most familiar with the traffic should be both considered and informed.
Subsequent to the meeting Mr. Kaplan reiterated that he had neither been consulted nor informed regarding the signage plan or installation. Mr. Kaplan confirmed that the signs as now installed are potentially hazardous. The traffic change funnels traffic into Bogart Avenue, which is already a main artery into Highfield Estates, Montford Hills, which is further crowded with school children. After Bogart, heading south, the next left turn being permitted into the Park Area is Highland Avenue, which is already dangerous from its intersection with Willowdale Avenue, which is a main artery onto the Boulevard. Mr., Kaplan expressed his concern and further volunteered to meet to derive a safe workable alternative.
It is my understanding, that for the present, our elected local town and state representatives working in unison have halted the further implementation of the traffic change pending restudy. I am now requesting that the no left-hand-turn signs southbound on Port Washington Boulevard into the Park Section be covered or otherwise be immediately taken out of service as they are posing a hazardous condition!
Jim Ansel, President
PW Park Civic Association