Nabes: Lindenwood turning into a speedway
by Stephen Geffon
May 20, 2010 | 1578 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cars speeding through four-way stop signs without stopping, narrowly missing other vehicles and pedestrians in the Lindenwood section of Howard Beach, was a concern voiced by neighborhood residents at last week’s meeting of the 106th Precinct Community Council in Ozone Park.

One resident, who didn’t give his name, said the problem is the worst between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. during the week when parents are picking up their children from P.S. 232 in Lindenwood. “We need a little more patrol,” he said.

According to the resident, vehicles going north on 79th, 80th and 81st streets between 156th and 149th avenues are not stopping or even slowing down at the four-way stop signs at those locations.

He added that cars driving on the Conduit north of Lindenwood are going about 60 mph. “Coming out of Lindenwood to get into the flow of traffic I get up to 40 (mph) and they pass me like I’m standing still,” he said, adding, “somebody’s going to get killed over there.”

Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, noted that the precinct is up nine percent in issuing summonses for hazardous driving compared to last year.

“In the last 28 days we wrote 1,082 hazardous driving summonses,” Courtesis said, adding that the traffic safety issues complained about are being heavily enforced by precinct officers. “It’s being enforced more with less personnel than it was last year.”

Courtesis promised the Lindenwood residents that their concerns would be addressed.

With the coming of summer also comes the noise complaints. Courtesis said he would be addressing these complaints with the police resources at his disposal.

The inspector said block parties are a big part of the noise problem. Therefore, this year, as was the case last year, the block party permits issued by the precinct will limit music until 7 p.m. with the block required to be opened to traffic by 9 p.m. The permits will be issued for Saturdays only from June 15 to September 15.

Commenting on the noise issue, Betty Braton, chairwoman of community board 10, said that one of the things that people don’t consider about the noise problem is the close proximity that people live to each other. An analysis she prepared of people living in the neighborhood showed that in some areas of the community over 75 to 80 people live on every acre.

“It’s not what is being played, it’s just the accumulation of noise and the number of people that it annoys,” she said, adding, “When we live on top of each other, we bother each other sometime, (so) we need to be conscious of what we are doing to our neighbors.”

Frank Dardani, president of the council, concurred with Braton. “We have to have consideration for each other too, if we are living that close,” he said.

Margaret Finnerty, president of the Richmond Hill South Civic Association, inquired about auto thefts in the precinct. Courtesis acknowledged that auto thefts were up in the precinct, and that during the last 28 days ten more cars were stolen compared to the same period last year. The area where the majority of these cars were reported stolen was from just north of the North Conduit, south of Rockaway Boulevard and the Van Wyck Expressway to 125th Street.

The inspector said that also in this area police were recovering cars that had been stolen from other parts of the city and dumped there. Courtesis added that last week five cars were reported stolen from in and around Tudor Village in Ozone Park.

According to Courtesis, this year the cars stolen were 2008 to 2010 models compared to none last year, with Toyota’s being the most popular among the thieves. “They’re looking for new cars,” he said

Courtesis said that Patrol Borough Queens South has recognized the precinct’s increase in auto larcenies, and among other support assigned 24 additional police officers on overtime to the precinct three days a week in an effort to combat the auto theft problem.

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