Thursday, November 18, 2010

Truck Traffic, Road Repair and Drug Counseling, Major Topics at CB 5

By Eric Yun

Truck traffic, unpaved roads and the proposal to open a drug-counseling center in Ridgewood were major topics discussed at last Wednesday’s Community Board 5 meeting.

During the public session of the meeting, Maspeth resident Peter Seymour complained about trucks on Melvina Place. Trucks travel through the street as a shortcut to get back to- wards Grand and Flushing avenues, and the roads simply can’t accommodate them.

Trucks find it difficult to make the turn from Melvina Place to 56th Drive, causing bottlenecks and crushed sidewalk curbs. Residents are hoping that Melvina Place can be converted to a one-way street southbound to help solve the traffic problems.

The issue on Melvina Place is part of the much larger issue of how and where trucks should be allowed to operate in Maspeth. For almost ten years, community activists have been fighting for the Maspeth Bypass Plan to keep trucks away from the community’s residential areas. The neighborhood’s main strip, Grand Avenue, faces a daily barrage of truck traffic on a daily basis.

Vincent Arcuri, chairman of CB 5, reported that many streets were being repaved, particularly in Middle Village, but the process was taking longer than expected. The streets have been milled but remain unpaved. Arcuri theorized that Verizon could be laying fiber optic cables holding up the process.

Board member Lorraine Sciulli commented that cars were speeding down the unpaved
streets creating hazards by kicking up rocks and debris, and drivers who know about the status of the street who slow down are at risk of being rear-ended. She suggested the city Department of Transportation at least erect rough road warnings for drivers until the work is finished.

At last month’s CB 5 meeting, JNS Counseling Services gave a presentation for their proposal to open an outpatient counseling service on 752 Onderdonk Avenue in Ridgewood. There were concerns if the community would see an increase in crime. In response, the board’s Health Committee contacted Brooklyn’s Community Board 15 and was told that there was no increase in crime and JNS runs a good program.

The board, which acts as an advisory board, approved the proposal.

The community board also discussed making Glendale’s I.S. 119 a K-8 facility. Community Education Council 24 and the Department of Education Portfolio Planning department will meet with the residents at I.S. 119 on November 22 about the plan.

Members of Transportation Alternatives asked the board to support their quest to hold the MTA and state legislators accountable for mass transit funding. They also asked the board to endorse the groups Rider’s Bill of Rights. The board didn’t take any action yet on the requests.

Finally, re-elected Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) and Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) thanked residents for their support and promised to continue the hard work in Albany.

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