By Bob Harris
In its April newsletter, the West Cunningham Park Civic Association has complained that tractor trailers coming off the Clearview Expressway are creating traffic jams at 73rd Avenue along Cunningham Park.
Specifically, trucks going south on the Expressway exit at 73rd Avenue and then re-enter the Expressway going north to avoid long backups getting on the Long Island Expressway the other way. During rush hours, these 18-wheelers block 73rd Avenue, causing traffic to backup along Cunningham Park for almost half a mile.
Elaine Young of the WCPCA and Maria DeInnocentis of the Civic Association of Utopia Estates, along with representatives from the office of state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) met with NYC DOT Officials to evaluate the situation. The problem is that the NYPD can only give a ticket if a specific law is being violated. NYC DOT officials say that the department would have to put up a sign saying that these turns are illegal. The civic leaders are waiting for things to happen.
The May issue of the Bayside Hills Beacon told of a successful mall cleanup, with scores of volunteers from the community helping to rake, weed and plant.
The mall, which runs along Bell Boulevard, is quite long and wide, but maintained with the help of volunteers, the Parks Department, Garden World, Ron Keil and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) and Councilman Barry Grodenchik and payment by the civic association.
The March newsletter of the Kissena Park Civic Association had a full-page article by Carsten W. Glaser on Illegal Home Conversions. Glaser complained about illegal rooms and apartments in houses and how they compromise the quality of life in a community.
Then there is the danger of fire from illegal wiring, the strain on essential services, overcrowding, block-by-block parking issues and the refuse and cans left around by illegal tenants who have no interest in the community, he wrote.
Some garages are used for illegal manufacturing or as bulk transfer stations. Some buildings are used for illegal aliens who don’t speak English and come and go at all hours of the day and night.
The article explains that only one violation can be made per complaint. Residents can call 311, their local community board or their local legislator. Their civic or block association should also be informed.
Residents can often work with active members of their civic association or a representative of their legislator or their community board.
Community Board 8’s March newsletter had an interesting article about bioswales or rain gardens. Green lines and letters on your sidewalk is a warning that one is planned for that location.
The Department of Environmental Protection has stated that they have installed 2,000 of these structures at curbs. The DEP will also have porous strips, which look like a regular side walk, but will absorb water like a rain garden. There will be no railings around these structures.
The DEP says that if you have a sprinkler system in an area marked with green paint for a rain garden, then it will not put one in that location. If you are disabled with a disabled license plate or a disabled parking placard, you can opt-out of any green infrastructure in front of your home.
GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK:
While some telephone solicitations can be useful it seems that too many scam artists are trying to steal money from too many people, especially senior citizens. In the past, this column has alerted people to the danger of unsolicited telephone calls, but everyone should be alert to the danger of scams when answering the phone.
Criminals often call saying you owe money in taxes or a utility bill, or they are a relative and need money now. They ask you to send them a money order. Some criminals call and ask for personal information.
They are all scams, hang up!