RESIDENTS URGE TRAFFIC SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS NEAR CLIFTON PARK
December 16, 2015 -- At a meeting of the Sea Cliff Village Board of Trustees last Monday evening, residents asked for the Board’s assistance in improving traffic safety at the eastern end of Clifton Park where Locust intersects with Sea Cliff and Glen Avenues.
Those intersections, without stop signs on Sea Cliff or Glen Avenues, said Locust Avenue resident Nancy Cuite, are especially dangerous with many near traffic accidents occurring at that location. She asked what needed to be done for the traffic control signage to be placed there, as, she said, it would help to slow drivers down.
There are currently stop signs on Glen and Sea Cliff Avenues where they intersect with DuBois at the two western corners of Clifton Park .
Mayor Bruce Kennedy responded that a 10 year-old resident who lives near the park had recently sent a letter to the Board with a similar request and that, with both Sea Cliff and Glen Avenues being County roads, the correspondence was forwarded to the Nassau County Department of Public Works. "The recommendation from the County," he said, "was do not put in a stop sign to control the speed of cars."
The Mayor then read aloud the County's reply to the 10-year old resident. The county official who authored the letter stated that stop signs are not designed for speed control but rather for indicating right of way, and since stop signs are located on the cross streets, installing them on Sea Cliff Avenue would be unwarranted and not recommended. Additionally, accident data, the letter said, did not indicate a need for stop signs. The County suggested the "speed awareness" devices, that are already positioned at that location but not always turned on, be used.
The Mayor replied that the the batteries for the Village's speed indicator LED displays do not hold their charge for a long period of time but that solar chargers and batteries have been ordered and would be fitted onto the signs as soon as they arrive.
Mr. Kennedy continued that he believed that the problem is that existing signage is often disobeyed and that traffic laws need to be better enforced. He said that a child on a bike had been struck be a car there this past summer, fortunately without having suffered injuries, and that by her own admission she had not looked for oncoming traffic while crossing the street some distance away from the intersection.
Resident James Marcelli, who is Ms. Cuite’s father, said that the county’s rationale “did not make sense.” “There’s a stop sign at nearly every block," he said. "This is exactly the spot where you need it."
"It's New York Traffic law," replied the Mayor.
Resident Eileen Marcelli pointed out that there are ballgames at the park and cars frequently park along the road interfering with visibility, thus necessitating stop signs at that particular location.
"My honest feeling," replied Mayor Kennedy, "is that we should pull out most of the stop signs on Sea Cliff Avenue and insist that Nassau County come in on a regular basis, with the police officer sitting there, and that motorists become aware of the fact that if they speed down Sea Cliff Avenue, they are going to be pulled over and ticketed." Later, Mr. Kennedy said that he would like to have raised crosswalks, but that a potential issue is with snow plows. Perhaps there are movable ones that could be installed during the warm weather months, he said.
The Mayor later added that some studies have shown that stop signs can sometimes create a false sense of security with a pedestrian or driver expecting a car to stop when it doesn’t.
Resident Donna Kianka said that a number of years ago there were frequent accidents at Glen and DuBois, and that stop signs were placed where DuBois intersects with Glen and Sea Cliff Avenue at the Northwest and Southwest corners of Clifton Park, and that seemed to improved traffic safety considerably.
Trustee Elena Villafane replied that perhaps a letter writing campaign would be effective, and that Ms. Kianka's historical perspective could be helpful.
As the discussion concluded, Mayor Kennedy said that he could help arrange a town hall meeting with the Nassau County Police Inspector to take questions from residents and to develop a strategy to improve safety at the intersections at the east end of the park.
(T. Madden, Northwordnews)
BACK TO WEEKLY