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The New York City Department of Transportation just doesn’t care, isn’t listening, or is fast asleep.
That’s the way things look to Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) President Ira Zalcman this week after an out-of-control automobile reportedly driven by a 17-year-old Kingsborough High School student plowed into the home of MBCG vice president Bunny Fleischer’s home at the corner of Oriental Boulevard and Kensington Street.
“Oriental Boulevard has become dangero us to one and all,” Zalcman said at last week’s MBCG meeting held at P.S. 195.
While the MBCG and the rival MBNA — Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association — don’t agree on much, they do share common ground on Oriental Boulevard.
Both community groups are fed up with the DOT and want new traffic lights installed on the busy thoroughfare to slow down speeders.
Officially, the city is still crunching numbers to determine if a request to install a new traffic light at the intersection of Oriental Boulevard and Irwin Street is warranted.
The DOT has already announced that the city will not be responding to requests to upgrade the flashing light at Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.
But many — including Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo — believe that the DOT is just dragging its feet.
The MBCG has renewed its ongoing press for the new lights, firing off a lengthy letter to Borough Commissioner Joseph Palmieri and Mayor Mike Bloomberg demanding action.
The DOT isn’t the only city agency at odds with many in the neighborhood, however. The Parks Department continues to draw residents’ ire for its refusal to remove the concrete planters installed along Oriental Boulevard — compelling Zalcman to quip, “We should take the planters and surround Bunny’s house.”
At last week’s MBCG meeting, one upset resident cautioned neighbors by saying, “You could install nine lights on the boulevard and it wouldn’t make a difference.”
Kingsborough Community College spokesperson Billy Katz apologized on behalf of the college for “those who break the law,” and said that the institution has repeatedly asked for “100 percent enforcement” of the traffic laws.
The problem? Too many local residents complaining after getting caught up in police sweeps.
According to Katz, the most severe traffic infractions occur Monday though Thursday, despite regular warnings to students to drive carefully.
“If we’re waiting for the city to solve this problem, it ain’t going to happen,” Zalcman warned.
The next meeting of the MBCG with invited guest Rep. Anthony Weiner will take place at P.S. 195 on December 3. Start time 8 p.m.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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