Residents living near a North Amityville mobile home park being redeveloped worry that new exits from the park onto their street have created a safety hazard.
Near-miss traffic accidents have occurred regularly on Geraldine Avenue since the exits were made, neighborhood residents said, with cars swerving and riding up on lawns to avoid hitting vehicles leaving Frontier Mobile Home Park. Three weeks ago, Arthur Moore, 13, was hit by a car as he was riding his bicycle out of the park.
Moore's family said he suffered a dislocated hip, broken rib, punctured lung and fractured nose in the collision. Moore said he saw the car at the last minute but couldn't brake in time.
"He was screaming 'Mommy, I'm scared. Am I going to die?' " said Moore's mother, Catherine McMahon, 47. She called the exit a "blind spot" and said better lights and signage are needed. Neighbors said the park fence, foliage and short driveway make for a lethal combination.
"They cannot see traffic coming back and forth, and we can't see them coming out," Geraldine Avenue resident Alexis Gadsden, 69, said of cars exiting the park. "This is dangerous. I don't want to see anyone else get hit, or get killed."
Developer R Squared Real Estate Partners of Plainview plans to build 500 apartments and 42,000 square feet of retail space on the site of the park, which once held more than 300 mobile homes. Dozens of those homes have been demolished, while hundreds of other residents continue to live in another area of the park. As construction began this spring, some exits onto Route 110 were closed and former fire exits in a fence on Geraldine were opened to traffic.
"Nobody told us they were going to do this," said Lois Washington, 64, adding she recently had to swerve her car to avoid hitting someone exiting the park. "You're used to living in your neighborhood and now all of a sudden we have to change our way of life."
With complaints being lodged after Moore was hit, Babylon Town crews installed stop signs at the corners of streets emptying onto Geraldine. R Squared placed stop signs on the fence near the exits, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said, but McMahon said they were put up only after her son was hit.
R Squared officials did not respond to requests for comment. After being contacted by Newsday about the complaints, the town was to set up a meeting with R Squared officials to ask them to move the fence back and extend the driveway as well as trim nearby foliage, Bonner said.
Residents said they want more signs, for both drivers and park residents, and they want speed bumps or rumble strips placed on the roadway to slow down motorists.
Gadsden said she was so distraught after Moore was hit that she bought copy paper and markers, and had her grandchildren draw up signs to warn drivers and residents.
"If you're going to open up traffic to the community, put a sign up at least," Gadsden said. "It's the right thing to do."