Melissa McCann, a mother of two, said she may need to sell her Stewart Avenue home in New Hyde Park to keep her boys safe from speeding cars.
“It’s sad, because I love my neighbors and the village, but my children’s safety is obviously [my] primary concern,” McCann said at last Tuesday’s village board meeting. “And my children cannot be safe as it is now.”
McCann, along with a handful of other residents, asked the New Hyde Park village board to add speed bumps or choose another option to mend the problem along their residential road during the meeting.
Mayor Lawrence Montreuil said the board would look further into the situation to come up with a solution.
Montreuil said as far as immediate action, he would reach out to the Nassau County Police Department.
McCann said in an interview after the meeting that village workers came the day after residents spoke to the board and repainted the lines on the corner, which she said may make it more obvious for cars to stop.
She said she hopes the village still decides to create a speed bump, or take further measures.
Efforts to reach Montreuil were unavailing.
McCann said she has two boys, ages 6 and 8.
Her younger son has autism and is very low functioning with severe cognitive delays, she said.
With four and half years of extensive therapies, McCann said, her son is functioning at an 18-month-old level.
“We can’t let him play outside. People speed down the street and with his delays he has a very long processing time,” McCann said. “If a car comes speeding, he doesn’t have time to react.”
She won’t even let her son play in the front yard without holding his hand, McCann said.
McCann also said she had no idea about the speeding before she moved in – and if she had she never would have moved there.
She added that she believes the issue has gotten worse over the years.
Tom Magaldi, another Stewart Avenue resident who spoke Tuesday night, said the increase in navigation apps has led more people down the residential road to cut through and avoid traffic and red lights.
McCann agreed, noting that many drivers cut through on Stewart to avoid the lights on Tulip Avenue, Hempstead Turnpike or Jericho Turnpike.
Magaldi also said the road will likely get more speeders when the new arena at Belmont Park is built. It may have up to 200 events a year.
“We’re looking for any resolution that’s going to change behavior,” Magaldi said. “Everybody in this room is guilty of, at one point, riding down a residential street speeding … Nobody does it maliciously, we’re just not thinking.”
Trustee Richard Pallisco floated the idea of increased street signage during the meeting, but others questioned if that would change behavior.
“I don’t think just putting up another speed limit sign or children at play or anything like that is effective,” McCann said in the interview.
McCann said a radar speed sign, which measures and states drivers’ speeds as they pass, may work as a viable option instead of speed bumps.
McCann added that this is not a problem her family will grow out of; even when her younger son is 18 he is going to cognitively be a child, she said.
“So as I see it, if the traffic patterns don’t change my family has to leave,” McCann said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Klar by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 204, or follow her on Twitter @rebeccaklar_.