2017-06-16 / Front Page

CPOA forms committee to address traffic safety

BY RIKKI N. MASSAND

In response to several serious accidents along Cathedral Avenue in the heart of Garden City, the Central Property Owners’ Association has decided to start a subcommittee on traffic safety, spearheaded by two of its new directors, Keith Hochheiser and Kathryn Carney Cole. The subcommittee is in response to a series of accidents along Cathedral Avenue, a Nassau County road, and a lack of progress with the village’s Traffic Commission efforts to advocate for a traffic light – at either Third Street or Fourth Street, blocks leading up to the downtown Seventh Street area and the school district administration building.

At their October 20, 2016, meeting the Traffic Commission voted to refer the Cathedral Avenue conundrum to the Nassau County Department of Public Works. That ballasted a request initiated by residents of the area and supported by the Central Property Owners’ Association for Nassau County to install a new traffic signal on Cathedral Avenue.

Ahead of the Commission’s June 15 meeting, on June 2 the Garden City Police Department provided the county with accident data for the intersections of Cathedral Avenue and Third Street and Cathedral Avenue and Fourth Street. The data was sent to Antoinette Bocca of Nassau County Department of Public Works Traffic Engineering Unit, and the report reflects incidents from a 38 month period: January 1, 2014 up to June 2017. As of the June 15 Traffic Commission meeting, the village was still awaiting any email reply or correspondence from Aryeh Lemberger, the unit head of Traffic Engineering, Planner III at Nassau County Department of Public Works following up on the request. The CPOA Traffic Commission liaison, Pat DiMattia, noted that Lemberger was away around the last Garden City Traffic Commission meeting on Thursday April 20. The Commission meets once every two months.

“The big issue will be any resolution of what the county will do at Cathedral Avenue and either Third or Fourth. We (the CPOA) were supposed to have this to discuss at our June meeting but the Commission’s June 15 agenda details the accident data submitted by the Garden City Police June 2 – we all see that accident numbers keep growing. It is just mindboggling that we cannot move this forward. Our CPOA Trustee Theresa Trouvé is on the Traffic Commission so at least we have someone to speak up,” DiMattia said.

The item was discussed in detail at the CPOA meeting on June 13. Cole says her concern at the moment is if Nassau County officials do receive and consider the request, they must have the latest accident data including a number of crashes in the Cathedral stretch at Third and Fourth Streets from early May into early June. She said an email DiMattia distributed prior to the June meeting only contained accident data until October 2016, which coincides with the Traffic Commission’s local vote for action by Nassau County. Cole wanted to ensure the county has the up-to-date information from Garden City, as the police sent it.

“The differential being presented to Nassau County (from October to June) will total something like 18 to 20 accidents on Cathedral – pretty significant. We even had a landscaping truck turn over. We need to query whether Nassau County has current data,” Cole explained.

Another Traffic Commission June 15 agenda item related to last year’s request for Nassau County to perform a study of the Golf Club Lane and Eleventh Street to determine the need for a traffic light, right in front of the new senior center. DiMattia told the CPOA the village is still waiting on Nassau County for that study.

Trouvé joined the Traffic Commission with Village Board reorganization in April. She looked forward to her second Commission meeting, and less than 48 hours prior to it she explained to CPOA directors and members the frustrations for the village to wait for County DPW’s responses, specifically word from Lemberger’s office. Hochheiser asked what the Commission can do now with its June meeting before he stood up and distributed photographs of several accidents along Cathedral Avenue since May began, including one May 10 and another on Memorial Day weekend.

“They (Nassau County) may comment that Garden City has to take its place in line. I am willing to speak with County Legislator Laura Schaefer too right now,” Trouvé said. CPOA members questioned how priorities are placed on traffic light requests municipalities have for the county roads running through villages or hamlets. Former Deputy Mayor and current CPOA Director Richard Silver confirmed that the “first in, first out” principle would apply to the county decisions on requests.

Silver spoke about a meeting about one year ago he and Trustee Trouvé attended with Lemberger about the Merillon Avenue and Rockaway Avenue intersection in front of Garden City High School for traffic control.

“They were trying manage expectations and they told us that one could take a year. They just wanted to let us know they were getting to it on their list – it is crazy with the backlog and limited staffing and how slowly these things move. I know we’ve gone through it before without a lot of success,” he said.

DiMattia looked at the big picture and said it was frightening with the injury column on the GCPD report from 2014 to June 2017 showing dozens. “It’s a lot of injuries – God forbid there is a fatality here on Cathedral Avenue,” she said.

Residents interested in joining the CPOA can contact the new President Michael Tiedemann, mail correspondence to the CPOA at P.O. Box 155, Garden City, NY 11530-0155 or visit GCCPOA.org.

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Washington and Clinton too

Washington and Clinton too

Speeding is rampant in town

Speeding is rampant in town on every road.

I would like to see strict

I would like to see strict police enforcement of speed limits in the mean time. Likewise on Cherry Valley Ave and Hilton Ave.

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