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Bayville compass rose gets mixed reviews

A compass rose design inlaid at the intersection

A compass rose design inlaid at the intersection of Ludlam and Bayville avenues, part of Bayville Village's new streetscape, has drawn curious comments from residents. (Oct. 18, 2012) Credit: Johnny Milano

A design reminiscent of childhood Spirograph drawings.

A Wiccan-esque symbol.

A unique way to welcome visitors to Bayville.

A nod to nautical culture.

Everyone has an opinion about the ornamental compass rose inlaid at the intersection of Ludlam and Bayville avenues as part of the $735,000 Bayville streetscape makeover that included drainage improvements, new curbs and sidewalks, and street paving.

"There are comments made and questions asked about what it is," Mayor Doug Watson said. "It's a design in the middle of the intersection. Someone has to ask those questions."

Watson said last week he has fielded only three complaints since the compass rose was installed in June.

Bayville resident Stuart Lewis that month commented during a village board meeting that the design looked like a symbol stereotypically associated with witchcraft, calling it a "pentagram insignia."

"Nobody's going to get burned," was Watson's jocular reply.

"To me, it's a design," the mayor said last week. "It's a nautical design, because we're a waterfront village."

The pattern, made of thermoplastic, consists of at least six concentric circles and an eight-point star. It was chosen by the board of trustees and installed by Hauppauge-based Kings Park Industries.

Guisselle Vega, 28, of Bayville, who works at the deli on the corner, said she enjoys seeing the compass rose regularly.

"I love it," she said. "When you drive by, it looks pretty cool and it's not something you see on every street."

James Scott, 49, of Bayville, is less impressed. "The problem with it is it's not a compass rose," he said. "Remember Spirograph from when you were a kid? It looks like a Spirograph."

Scott also questioned whether the compass pointed true north, but admitted it must be pretty close. "It would be nice if it got an 'N,' " he said.

The directional N, E, S and W were supposed to be installed as part of the design last summer, but will soon be added to help clear up confusion, Watson said.

"And that," he said, "will be the end of that."

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