I am a resident of the Salisbury area for over 40 years and a member of the East Meadow Civic Association (EMCA) and the Carman Community Association of Stewart Avenue (CASA) organization. Your newspaper reported several stories regarding the traffic safety conditions on Salisbury Park Drive, Stewart and Carman Avenues, and contiguous roads.
I'm sure your readers would appreciate hearing the facts, and getting the record straight in regard to our continuing efforts to bring down the accident rate.
On March 6, in a meeting with Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Costello of the NCPD, the Traffic Safety Task Force of the East Meadow Civic Association (EMCA) insisted that there be more aggressive enforcement of the speeding regulations in these areas.
At a follow-up meeting on June 19, NCPD Deputy Chief of Patrol Joan Yale reported that pursuant to our request, an unprecedented 247 moving violation summonses were issued on Salisbury Park Drive, a majority of which were for speeding.
It is most surprising and distressful to have learned of certain critical public comments leveled against EMCA by CASA. Indeed, over the years, CASA and its president have done virtually nothing to reduce the high rate of accidents, seemingly content to sit idly by as the conditions steadily worsened.
Contrastedly, EMCA has been proactive. A comprehensive statistical report was prepared by Mr. Richard Baggs, vice chairman, Traffic Safety Task Force of the East Meadow Civic Association (EMCA). It was presented to Deputy Police Commissioner Costello, and other high ranking county officials, at our March 6 meeting. An updated report was presented on June 19. These submissions were accompanied by a 16-point program of recommendations for specific actions which have been carefully calculated to reduce the number of accidents and injuries. Since that time, and pursuant to our advice, large 12-inch lenses and a large traffic signal were installed on the corner of Carman Avenue and Salisbury Park Drive.
Robert Zafonte, president of the East Meadow Civic Association and chairman of its Traffic Safety Task Force, is in constant contact with the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau County Department of Public Works. He is closely monitoring all aspects of this important community matter, and he realizes that there must be a cooperative effort among the police department, other county agencies and community leaders, to bring about real positive change. Mr. Zafonte has appointed Jafar Khan, PE, ME, to the Task Force. Mr. Khan will provide additional information and insight to further our efforts.
The East Meadow Civic Association (EMCA) has widely distributed its Task Force report and recommendations. We have also reached an accord with Dr. Robert Dillon, superintendent of schools, resulting in a notice (via his Steps to Learning publication) urging all involved to be cognizant of the special dangers inherent in operating a vehicle at excessive speeds in this particular vicinity.
Commissioner Joseph Pecora of the Nassau County Department of Public Works has informed the Task Force that the Department's report will be released on or about July 19. He has assured us that it will indicate the steps which the county is prepared to take in order to reduce the accident rate.
Mr. Zafonte and the Traffic Safety Task Force have asked the department to participate in an on-site meeting with the public, to explain the rationale for its intended courses of action. It would certainly behoove the media and all our concerned residents to attend that meeting, which will be sponsored by the EMCA.
All interested persons are invited to contact Task Force Chairman Robert Zafonte, 657-5254, or Vice Chairman Richard Baggs, 334-2353, for further information. Copies of our initial and interim reports are available at 2071 Salisbury Park Drive, Westbury, on by contacting any member of the Traffic Safety Task Force. Our Task Force welcomes your comments.