Judy Cartwright writes the Community Watchdog column
A reader asked recently about No Turn on Red Signs -- specifically, about one she had not noticed until a red light camera ticket arrived.
"I got a ticket, I didn't even know why," said Sue Havranek of Sayville. "I thought it was because I went through a red light."
So the next time her journeys took her to the intersection, on the Sunrise Highway north service road at Johnson Avenue, she looked for the sign -- and found its location far from user friendly.
It's positioned to the right of the roadway, several feet before the white stop line on the pavement. For the driver who stops there, the sign is to the rear of the car.
And for anyone who misses it, the sign can spell trouble. Havranek said she learned that four friends had received similar tickets.
Drivers would stand a better chance if the sign were overhead near the traffic signal, she said. "Maybe we wouldn't be getting these tickets if they had put a [No Turn on Red] sign up on the light," she said.
After all, she said, as she nears an intersection her attention is focused on the traffic signal, not on signs along the roadway.
The state Department of Transportation "has been installing overhead No Turn on Red signs throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties as our resources and essential priorities permit," department spokeswoman Eileen Peters said in response to Watchdog's inquiry.
At the Sayville intersection, "the overhead No Turn on Red Sign will be installed as soon as our signal crew schedule allows," Peters said in an email. The signal poles have been evaluated and can handle the weight of the new sign, she said.
So we won't have to wonder if we missed a sign forbidding a turn on red. As Havranek says of her own experience: "If you're reading all the signs along the side of the road, you're not paying attention to what's going on in front of you."
The new sign should be hard to miss.
-- JUDY CARTWRIGHT
Sign to curb trespassers in Seaford
There is a large sandlot on my road that is constantly used by noisy off-road SUVs, ATVs and dirt bikes. Across the street from my house, people have improvised an entrance to get to the lot, which may be an unused part of Cedar Creek Park. I have made numerous calls to local government officials, but to no avail. It seems as if no one is responsible for this area of land.
-- Michael McAndrew, Seaford
You can expect the trespassing -- and noise -- to diminish, Mr. McAndrew.
Nassau County has blocked the makeshift entrance by installing a "No Trespassing" sign with yellow diamond-shaped signs on either side. The positioning of the signs, which are in addition to a long-standing "No Vehicles" sign, is meant to prevent vehicles from entering the lot.
County officials said they are considering installation of a fence to further deter trespassers. Those funds will be considered in preparation for the 2013 Capital Plan.
"Individuals should not trespass on this property as they will face penalties under the law," Nassau County spokeswoman Katie Grilli-Robles said in a statement. She added: "These No Trespassing signs serve as a strong deterrent."
The sandlot was created when the nearby Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant, Cedar Creek Park and the surrounding community was constructed several decades ago, Grilli-Robles said. The parcel has no role in plant operations.
-- MICHAEL R. EBERT
In February, we reported on the Village of Lindenhurst's efforts to get a three-block section under the Long Island Rail Road viaduct cleared of railroad construction materials. The viaduct, a landmark that bisects the village's downtown, had turned into an open-air construction closet more than a year earlier, Village Clerk Shawn Cullinane said, and done without notification to the village.
The railroad told Watchdog that though its storage facilities were limited efforts were under way to find another site for the materials, which included steel girders, concrete blocks and a crane.
The LIRR began removing the materials in early June and completed the work June 26, spokesman Sam Zambuto said. Cullinane said the village followed up by sending its "clean community crew" to ensure the area was presentable.
-- JUDY CARTWRIGHT