Flower Hill moves to curb dangerous speeding in village

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Flower Hill Mayor Robert McNamara has died at 76. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Flower Hill)

An incident where a speeding motorist drove around a stopped school bus has sparked anger in Flower Hill over reckless driving. Several residents on Bonnie Heights Road — a relatively straight stretch that has been prone to speeding — traveled down the street to Village Hall to seek action from the Board of Trustees.

“I know that this is an issue that … had been raised a while ago and continues to be a problem,” Trustee Brian Herrington said during the Flower Hill Board of Trustees meeting on Monday.

The road has two school bus stops, one where Bonnie Heights Road intersects with Elderfields Road and another at the intersection with Knolls Lane. Although most of the residents were from up the street, village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer said the board was concerned about speeding throughout Flower Hill after an earlier accident on Middle Neck Road.

Residents expressed their frustration with the Board of Trustees and Officer Joseph Oginski of the Nassau County police. Oginski suggested that a patrol officer could be stationed on the road on certain weekday mornings, although the officer would leave if there was an emergency call.

“Your requests have been heard and … disseminated among the patrol units,” Oginski said. But he also said he could not promise anything specific.

Mayor Robert McNamara said that speeding was so widespread that the police would not be able to catch everyone.

“Every road in [Port Washington] has a problem with people speeding and not caring,” he said.

But the residents agreed that something would be better than nothing.

“Having a reputation of a street that police are stationed on, even if they’re [stationed] sporadically, people will know not to speed,” one attendee said.

In the end, the village board voted to hold a public hearing on adding stop signs at the intersections of Bonnie Heights Road with Knolls Lane and Elderfields Road, although Shatzkamer said the signs could be put up in the meantime. McNamara said the village could not add red light cameras, crosswalks or speed bumps to Bonnie Heights Road at this time.

“Let’s start with stop signs,” he said.

That public hearing was followed by hearings on five local laws. The first was Local Law H, which would regulate wireless telecommunications like cell nodes. Shatzkamer said that the village was putting this on the “back shelf” until the federal government decided how it wants to implement 5G data services.

The other four local laws were passed by the board. Local Law I prohibits parking on both sides of Mason Drive from 125 feet east of Dartmouth Road to the village border, which was done to improve sightlines for drivers.

Local Law J will require all decorative front yard fences to obtain approval from the Architectural Review Committee instead of the Board of Trustees. Trustee Randall Rosenbaum voted against it, saying he didn’t see a need for it.

Local Law K amended the definition of structures so that patios comply with setback requirements of the zone they are in. Local Law L amended the code so that no walkways on a residential property would be permitted within four feet of the property line.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at ltorrance@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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