The Elmont Quality of Life Committee (EQL), working with local civic groups, is about to reap the harvest of what it has sown -- the start of a Town of Hempstead pilot program to restrict overnight parking on residential streets in designated areas of Elmont. Bravo!
Retaking the streets, literally and figuratively, is the first step toward regaining control of our communities, and returning to our residents a true sense of suburbia - that quality of life for which we pay dearly, and so cherish, yet seems ever elusive and just beyond our reach.
The efforts of Elmont's Quality of Life Committee, and of the local civic groups in proposing this initiative, despite certain inconveniences to be occasioned, is to be applauded. The cooperation of the folks at Town Hall, in responding to the call, is refreshing. The resolve and support of the people of Elmont, in endorsing this project, and in supporting EQL and their local civic associations, is most commendable. You have seen the forest, while most of us in neighboring towns remain huddled next to a dying stump, mired in the weeds, looking desperately for the trees.
The resurgence of our communities, of that way of life seemingly displaced by indifference and inertia, is no simple task. To bring our neighborhoods, our schools, our business districts back from the brink, takes abundant vision, bold leadership, and a broad base of support. Elmont is indeed fortunate to possess these qualities, and more.
Hopefully, with the anticipated success of the pilot program to limit overnight parking, residents in Elmont's neighboring communities of Franklin Square and West Hempstead will see the benefits that an aggressive quality of life campaign holds for all Town of Hempstead residents. We should, as well, come to see that the upside of such initiatives, while bitter pills for some to swallow, are far reaching, long lasting, and outweigh, by any measure, the downside of simply maintaining the status quo.
To our neighbors and friends in Elmont, Godspeed -- we're with you all the way. As for the rest of us, the time has come to consider our course. We cannot go back. We dare not stand still. The only move we can make is forward.
Seth D. Bykofsky
(The writer is Chair of the Zoning Committee of the West Hempstead Civic Association, and Co-Chair of the Tri-Community Alliance of Elmont, Franklin Square & West Hempstead.)