In response to complaints from residents, Village of East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz last week halted the planned installation of a “No Left Turn” sign at the Roslyn Middle School exit onto Locust Lane, he said on Monday.
The plan for the installation of the sign had been adopted by the school at the suggestion of Nassau County police officials in meetings over the past couple months, Koblenz said.
It aimed to alleviate the traffic congestion and safety risks that accompany student drop-off and pick-up at the school.
“I’m happy to support the school but not if everybody is crazed about it,” Koblenz said.
The school will form a safety committee that will analyze the congestion and safety issues and suggest a solution, Koblenz said.
The sign installation prompted an uproar from parents who feared it would significantly lengthen their daily commute to and from the school, as cars exiting would have had to turn southbound onto Locust Lane and loop back north to the Long Island Expressway via Roslyn Road.
“There was a lot of backlash from parents that live in that community that would be inconvenienced having to make a right hand turn and work their way back to Roslyn Road,” said Bret Dunne, a resident of Roslyn for seven years and the father of two children in Roslyn schools. “It’s really a convenience thing.”
Dunne said the congestion at pick-up and drop-off causes a backup of cars that approaches the nearby traffic light on Locust Lane.
The parking lot gets jammed because cars double-park at the curb near the entrance rather than taking spaces in the parking lot, Dunne said.
“The real safety concern is kids walking across the street, darting out from behind double-parked cars right into the middle of traffic,” he added.
Dunne said the solution is not a “No Left Turn” sign but rather parents “pulling into parking spots and waiting for their child to walk out,” as they’ve been instructed by the school via email.
“Parents feel the rules do not apply to them,” Dunne added.
On Monday, Roslyn Middle School sent an email to parents urging them to “keep in mind the parking procedures that help to ease congestion and frustration.” The email was signed by the principal Craig S. Johanson as well as assistant principal Dave Lazarus and assistant principal Claire L. Scordo.
The email did not explicitly mention the proposed “No Left Turn” sign or the uproar it caused.
“Please help us alleviate this issue and make Pick-Up/Drop-Off better and safer for everyone,” the email said.