February 10, 2015 Sea Cliff Village Board Meeting
SEA CLIFF VILLAGE BOARD WEIGHS ONE-WAY PROPOSAL
February 11, 2015 -- Citing safety concerns, the Sea Cliff Village Board is considering transitioning Cliff Way and the Boulevard from two-way to one-way traffic on April 1, nearly two months earlier than usual, and switching back to two-way after September 30. The discussion took place at this past Tuesday evening's monthly meeting.
Traditionally, the one way rule has begun on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and ended on Labor Day. Over the past few years, the regulation has been extended to late September, after the Silly Shakespeare annual performance that is now held at the Performing Arts Gazebo at Sea Cliff Beach.
Tuesday night, Mayor Bruce Kennedy said that he believed that one-way traffic was a safety necessity during the Summer months and that with the increased popularity of the beach in the springtime, and diagonal parking spaces along the Boulevard being filled more often, it "seemed to make more sense to change to one-way earlier."
Trustee Elena Villafane, offering similar reasons, agreed, and said that "it would be prudent to consider changing the one-way rule earlier" so as to help "prevent someone from getting hurt."
During the public comment period, three residents spoke out against the proposed change.
Michael Lindgren, of Foster Place, said that the one-way rule directly affects 25 residents and that to extend the rule to April 1st would result in those residents' "daily activity being impacted for six months of the year." He suggested that other measures be taken to improve traffic flow and safety, such as angling the parking spaces more acutely, to add a stop sign, and to more effectively enforce traffic laws to discourage speeding.
Mayor Kennedy replied, "Our main concern is public safety." Mr. Lindgren replied that the village also needed to take into consideration "the impact on the people who live there."
Trustee Ed Lieberman said that the Village was trying to bring "a semblance of order" to traffic and that going one-way earlier in the season would be more likely to prevent accidents.
Mr. Lindgren replied that he believed the one way rule made the road less safe. "When it's two-way it's not as bad," he said. "When it's one-way, it becomes a drag strip."
Louann Boeckem of Cliff Way said that while she supported the one-way rule during the summer months when the traffic is heavy, she believed that moving the regulation up to April was too early and unnecessary with far fewer people parking on Cliff Way.
Boulevard resident, Althea McDonald then addressed the board, and said that while she recognized and respected their concern for safety, "one-way for six months is unacceptable."
Like Mr. Lindgren, Ms. McDonald also questioned whether one-way was safer. She explained that during the summer months, young drivers repeatedly race the "loop" going eastward along the Boulevard turning up Carpenter Avenue ("Snake Hill") and then right on to Prospect Avenue, before heading down Cliff Way. She said that she was very concerned that people crossing at the Bathway steps would get hit.
She asked whether speed bumps could be installed. Mayor Kennedy said that it was a county road, and that that decision would have to be made at that level.
Both Mr. Lindgren and Ms. McDonald said that there needed to be more opportunity for residents to offer their input and suggested that a community meeting be arranged to discuss the issue.
Mayor Kennedy said to Northwordnews the next day, that "our main concern is the safety of pedestrians along the Boulevard when it gets congested. Our secondary concern is the convenience of our residents," He said he had repeatedly driven the .69 mile loop at a speed below the speed limit and that each time, it only took him just over two minutes to travel its full length..
The Mayor on Tuesday night stated that the discussion was just beginning and that the issue would be addressed further at the next meeting.
BACK TO WEEKLY
OTHER HEADLINES FROM 2.11.15 VILLAGE BOARD MEETING
SEWER PROJECT PROGRESSING WELL IN SPITE OF WINTRY WEATHER
Trustee Edward Lieberman reported that the sewer project, despite the poor weather of the last few weeks was progressing quite well with 31% of the pipe for the project having already been installed. The work, which began at Prospect Avenue, has already made its way eastward past Central Avenue. He thanked residents and businesses for their cooperation. Click here for past Northwordnews Articles on the Sea Cliff Sewer Project
RESIDENT ASKS ABOUT VILLAGE INTEREST IN AMERICAN WATER PROPERTY
Following up on an article that had appeared in Northwordnews last week, Resident Donna Kianka asked whether the Village was interested in purchasing the American Water Company property on Prospect Avenue. She said that she would fully support such an acquisition and stated that she believed that one of the buildings on the property would be a good candidate for going on the national register of historic places, just as the Fire House and Village Hall are. The Mayor said that the property was not at this time "for sale," but that it would be "something the village would be interested in if the opportunity came up." Resident Althea McDonald asked about the possibility of there being a covenant which would enable the village the opportunity to get first shot at the property should the water company wish to unload it. Mr. Kennedy said he is "curious if there is such a covenant" and that he has heard stories of one, but had not seen it. He said once again that as far as he knows the property is not at this time up for sale.
Click here for last week's Northwordnews article on American Water's Prospect Avenue property.