Increased traffic patrols near Dix Hills stop sign
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I would estimate that less than 10 percent of cars stop at the sign on Village Hill Drive at the intersection with Randolph Drive in Dix Hills. We aren't talking about rolling through the stop sign, but rather speeding through it, oftentimes not applying any brakes. There are numerous children in the neighborhood, and I have forbidden mine to play in front of the house because of this issue. I have called Suffolk County police many times in hopes of getting a regular patrol to curb speeding. Although I have received promises, I have never once seen a patrol car at the corner.
-- Howard Kubel, Dix Hills
Expect to see increased patrols in the area, Mr. Kubel.
Sgt. John Fives, a supervisor in the Second Precinct's Community-Oriented Police Enforcement unit, told us he would request that officers step up their presence on Village Hill Drive. Enforcement efforts are expected to include stops and summonses for speeding and stop sign violations. A digital trailer that displays how fast drivers are traveling has been set up near the intersection.
Fives said the combined actions are intended to help slow the speeding on Village Hill Drive, which he characterized as a "gateway road" to several neighborhoods. It stretches more than 11/2 miles between its two intersections with County Road 67, Vanderbilt Parkway.
"Village Hill Drive could be viewed as a road where motorists do not demonstrate the same courtesy as they would if it were their own block," Fives said. "I understand the concerns of Mr. Kubel and they will be addressed accordingly."
Fives paid a visit to Village Hill Drive last month to assess the signage, which he deemed to be appropriate: eight stop signs as well as several 30-mile-per-hour speed limit signs that he said are "clearly posted."
"Our goal is that motorists who utilize this roadway will voluntarily comply with the traffic control devices in the area thus improving the quality of life and safety for residents who live on this road," he said.
-- MICHAEL R. EBERT
Dangerous tree limb removed
I live in Massapequa and across the street is an abandoned house. On the side is a tree with a VERY large, and a VERY broken limb. The tree is growing out of the grassy strip next to the sidewalk, so technically it is a public tree. The limb cracked during Sandy and has still not been removed. If it falls on someone, it could kill them.
-- Brenna Solop, Massapequa
We're pleased to report that the tree limb that was hanging akimbo is gone, courtesy of Oyster Bay Town.
But responsibility for the removal had shifted over time, even as the limb changed positions.
Solop had initially called the town about the limb because the tree is on a town right of way. The town told her that the Long Island Power Authority was the party responsible because the limb was entangled in overhead utility wires.
So she called LIPA, where she was told that a crew would remove the limb. As weeks passed, and the limb didn't disappear, she contacted Watchdog. "Someone put a rope up to hold the limb on, but the break has worsened," she wrote in an email.
When we paid a visit, the limb appeared to have shifted or sagged; we couldn't see any direct contact between the limb and the overhead wires.
So we made a call to town hall to find out if the limb belonged back in the town's court. A short time later town spokeswoman Marta Kane called to tell us that was indeed the case.
A Highway Department staffer had examined the tree earlier that day and found that no part of the limb was touching the wires, she said, and as a result, "the town will have it taken care of and removed."
When Solop got home that evening, the limb was gone.
It had been especially worrisome because of its position over a sidewalk where "many young school children and their parents walk under every day" on their way to a nearby school, she told us.
And she was thrilled to report not only that the limb was gone but that the town crew had also removed others, "so there's less to worry about in the future."
-- JUDY CARTWRIGHT