By Rebecca Klar
The Village of Plandome will place a radar speed sign on North Drive following complaints about commuters speeding through the area to catch the Long Island Rail Road.
Julia Petropoulos of North Drive told village trustees on Monday that she has seen cars speed past the school bus, and they continue throughout the day.
Petropoulos asked the Board of Trustees to add a stop sign on North Drive at the intersection with Brookside Drive. Trustee Andrew Bartels said he was hesitant to add a stop sign at the top of the hill because it would be dangerous, especially in winter weather.
“It’s only a matter of time — there’s about 10, 15 kids between the five houses — that one is going to be hit by a car,” Petropoulos said. “My husband is a fireman. I don’t want him responding to a call that his own child was hit by a car.”
Petropoulos said having her children play outside is why she moved to Plandome.
“And we can’t even play on our bikes?” Petroupolos said. “Should they be inside on iPads?”
In a couple of weeks, the board will review the data collected from the radar sign and revisit the issue. Village Clerk-Treasurer Elizabeth Kaye said she hopes the radar sign will prompt drivers to slow down.
“I’m sorry there’s not an easy answer,” Mayor M. Lloyd Williams said.
LIRR commuters are also inconveniencing village residents by parking throughout the neighborhood and walking to the train.
“We don’t think it’s right to have our town become a commuter parking lot,” Alex Matina of Madonia Court said. “I have three, soon to be four, kids. I don’t want them going outside and riding bikes and scooters with all these cars parked who really have no business being there.”
Matina said having strangers parked outside for over 12 hours isn’t just an inconvenience, but also a safety issue.
Williams said the board is aware of the commuter parking problem and is trying to figure out the most effective way to combat it with minimal signage.
At Monday’s meeting the board passed a resolution, pending approval from its attorney, to add Madonia Court to the list of streets on which street parking is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Williams, though, said the move encroaches on a homeowner’s own guests, construction workers or gardeners who may need to park outside homes.
Trustee Katie Saville said the new rule is a start. To her, the greater danger is that the cars are parking “nose in” on a cul de sac.
“If a school bus can’t get through, I don’t see how a fire truck could,” Saville said.
Regardless of how long it takes for a permanent, successful solution to come about, Saville suggested that Matina and his neighbors call the police about the dangerous parking situations.
Also on Monday, trustees said the board will discuss tree removal at October’s meeting.