Thursday, June 17, 2010

Traffic and Crime Highlight CB5 Meeting

The Forum

Area crime, transit issues and executive committee elections were among the key issues discussed at the June meeting of Community Board 5.

Troutman Street Woes Several residents attended last Wednesday’s session at Christ the King High School to express concern over traffic on Troutman Street. Despite a “no left turn” sign at the intersection of Troutman Street and Metropolitan Avenue, residents noted that drivers
constantly make illegal turns at high speeds.

One resident suggested that traffic be rerouted to become one-way or that a barrier be erected to force drivers to Flushing Avenue.

Board District Manager Gary Giordano said that while measures are needed to ease the situation, they need to be implemented in a way that doesn’t adversely impact other nearby streets.

“While we understand that Troutman Street is a dilemma, the feeling is that the adjacent streets are very much residential and could cause just as great of a problem,” he said.

However, Giordano noted that plans have been drawn to create a traffic island at the intersection and to increase police presence in the area.

***Area Crime***

The board’s Public Safety Committee reported that felony assaults are up 62 percent so far this year across the 104th Precinct. In addition, auto theft is up 25 percent, with Toyotas and Hondas among the most popular models.

However, sting operations targeting underage alcohol sales and prostitution have been successful, Undercover officers visited 37 local bars and delis and issued a total of 39 summonses. In addition, prostitution stings along Starr Street in Ridgewood have also been effective. Residents have long complained about prostitution activity in that area.

Still, board members expressed concern that there aren’t enough patrol cars on the streets
between 4 p.m. and midnight. While response time for emergencies has hovered around six minutes, members say the number of patrol cars still needs to increase.

***Car Sharing and Transit Changes***

There was also a discussion on implementing car sharing programs in the area in an effort
to ease traffic and parking issues. The city Department of City Planning is currently considering a zone text amendment that would allow for parking spaces to be set aside for car sharing services such as ZipCar.

While some residents spoke in favor of the plan, others expressed concern that some cars are already violating the zoning rules in place, particularly in residential neighborhoods.

The board voted to recommend that parking for car sharing services mainly be limited to commercial areas instead of residential areas.

Beginning on June 28th the V and M trains will be merged, with the new line retaining the M line designation. The new route will run between Forest Hills and Metropolitan Avenue, with service to midtown Manhattan instead of downtown. Beginning on September 12, the Q58 bus will begin making limited stops.

The Transportation Committee also noted that it is seeking to have Flushing Avenue resurfaced at night so that necessary improvement can be made without disrupting traffic in the area.

No comments: