Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Must Someone Else Die?

Many residents have indicated that speeding is an issue on their neighborhood streets. Occasionally, the police department will send a car to monitor and maybe even write a couple of tickets. But the fact is, there are too many streets, too many cars and too few police officers to stop them. We won’t bother discussing whether or not ticket quotas exist because most people already have an opinion about that. What we will discuss is that common, small infractions seem to either go unnoticed or unticketed because they are a nuisance to the police. Infractions such as illegal lane changes, using a cell phone while driving, failure to signal and so on are the ones routinely excused - unless if there's an accident. 

An officer we spoke to said he was doing speed control but only issued one ticket and about half a dozen warnings after radar-checking one particular neighborhood for an hour. He said he gave warnings to those speeding between the posted 30mph speed limit and up to 40mph. His hope was it might filter back to family and friends, with word ultimately getting back to them to slow them down. He also said that every neighborhood he does this in finds the residents are among the many speeding culprits! Either we don't have enough police officers doing traffic enforcement or enough resources for them - or both. It all comes down to money.

The Town’s Police Department budget is controlled by the Town Board. The Police Chief submits his budget request to Mr Feiner and his Town Board. Then the dance begins. Actually, the dance happens with all of the assorted Town Commissioners each year at budget time. The past several budgets have been trumpeted by Mr Feiner as being below the New York State 2% Tax Cap. Sadly, the public is being scammed by Mr Feiner’s well-honed lie originated in Albany and perpetuated here in Greenburgh that while we stayed under the 2% Tax Cap, our tax increase (this year) was 3.4%. Caveat emptor or willfully ignorant.

Regardless, the Police Chief submits what he needs and during the subsequent dance, perhaps even before and after it, Mr Feiner tells the department head to find something to cut so he can issue multiple press releases about how he found fat and made cuts in the budget. Then there's several other press conferences and releases about the budget being under the tax cap again, once upon a time Greenburgh was the 80th best place to live, essential services were maintained while staying under the 2% Tax Cap and so on. Publicity Paul will use a host of press releases, interviews and physical mailings. He'll also use the illegally held GBList. That's the email list that he and the Town are stalling the release of to Dorrine Livson of the Worthington Woodlands Civic Association after going to court and being court-ordered to give it to her under the Freedom of Information Law.

Mr Feiner's latest folly is a new traffic sign that announces how many tickets have been issued on a particular street supposedly for speeding. The issue at hand with this is that the Town is abdicating their responsibility for traffic enforcement by relying on a sign, crossed fingers and the hope that drivers will slow down. This very definitely compromises our residents and guests' safety and well-being. Also, Mr Feiner has over-advertised the new sign as his panacea for publicity, informing speeders town-wide that there are no cops nearby and speed away! So as drivers barrel on down the road,we have Publicity Paul (aka Pinocchio Paul, Posturing Paul, Federal Felon Feiner) to thank. If speeding is to be controlled by a sign, what's our next policing move? Another traveling sign to announce how many break-ins a particular neighborhood has had? By posting a sign and advertising there are no police nearby, will crime now rise?

Another conversation with a Town police officer said Feiner's sign publicity has started a firestorm of requests at police headquarters. Apparently, since Promising Paul has been asking for suggestions on its placement, the police have been inundated with requests for the sign. While we tip our hat to Preposterous Paul for another great deflection and latest the publicity coup, these requests indicate the seriousness of the speeding problem throughout the Town and the residents' desperation for relief. The Town Board has green-lighted almost every project for the last 22-years, the tenure of multiple Feiner Administrations, without having a coinciding traffic plan to control flow of traffic, speeding, parking and the like.

Similarly, many neighborhoods ask for speed bumps/humps, stop signs, rumble strips, even red light cameras to try to slow speeders. Each time the subject is broached with Town leaders and police representatives they are given a plethora of reasons as to why their requests cannot be delivered. They're told speed bumps can't be used to control traffic, they hold water and increase flooding on our already flood-prone streets. They're told you can't put in rumble strips, you can't have an officer doing speed control because of budget constraints. They're told they cannot install stop signs to control traffic. We can't do this and we can't do that? But what can they do? Apparently, more they tell us.

In one of his almost daily campaign mailings, Mr Feiner said the following:

"Speeding on South Road and North Road has always been a concern of residents of Parkway Gardens and Parkway Homes. The Greenburgh Town Board will vote on Wednesday, October 14th to accept the Police department’s recommendation to add an “all way” stop sign at South Road at the intersection of Jackson Place and at North Road at the intersection of Jackson Place.  Earlier this year there was a fatal hit and run accident on South Road. It’s the desire of the Greenburgh Police department and Town Board to make all of our roads safer and to improve the quality of life for residents. Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney and his traffic safety officers deserve our thanks for their follow up on this important safety initiative and for meeting with community members prior to making this recommendation."

It appears that stop signs can be installed to control traffic flow. This is exactly what residents from several neighborhoods have been asking for. It's just so sad that a death had to occur for this to happen. The real point however, is while the stop signs may help control traffic in the future, would they have prevented this unfortunate death? Must someone else die before we see the installation of stop signs, traffic lights, controlled pedestrian crossing areas and other solutions? 

With elections approaching, this will be one of the best pieces of campaign fodder Mr Feiner has dreamed up. He will have the signs installed, send out multiple press releases, have several press conferences at the sight, posture about it at numerous Town Board meetings and lament that they cannot do this in more neighborhoods because he's limited in spending due to the NYS 2% Tax Cap - which his Town Board could vote to ignore. He'll continue on that he is committed to safety and improving our neighborhoods. Look for another sign saying that since the stop signs were installed, "X" amount of tickets have been written and "X" amount of lives have been saved.

There are serious traffic issues growing with every development Mr Feiner and his Town Board approve. Coincidentally, corresponding traffic control is noticeably absent. As our budget resources dwindle, our police department is being pushed to do more with less. Let's see how many more of the signs Mr Feiner plans to distribute throughout our Town affecting your safety and the safety of your families and visitors. Must someone else die to get action throughout our Town? This has to change. Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.

1 comment:

  1. Who needs radar detectors when we have Supervisor Feiner and the gblist (see latest below). Now here’s a new incentive to hand over your email address over to Supervisor Feiner.

    Drive safely today by “Old Kensico near the 287 overpass”. A rhetorical question, if we can get the number of traffic tickets down to zero, does that prove that there are no longer any speeding issues in Greenburgh?

    From: gblist-owner@cit-e.net on behalf of Paul Feiner
    Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 11:44 AM
    To: 'gblist@cit-e.net''''''eew (gblist@cit-e.net)
    Subject: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE TO HOST MEETING SATURDAY...Mobile Traffic Display at Old Kensico near 287 Overpass

    The Gerenburgh Human Rights Advisory Committee is hosting an important meeting this Saturday that is open to the public. Our digital speed sign is on Old Kensico near the 287 overpass. 5 traffic tickets issued this past week. The digital sign moves around town and is designed to motivate people to drive safely.