Tell Us: Main Street Beautification

What changes would you like to see?

North Hempstead's Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio are hosting a “Main Street Visioning” public meeting Thursday at Schreiber High School auditorium, 7 p.m.

Streetscape enhancements, and proposed zoning changes for Port Washington’s Main Street are the meeting's focus. 

Which has us wondering: Briefly leaving aside the proposed zoning changes in this discussion, what kind of beautification projects do you think would be effective in Port Washington? More frequent cleanups? Plantings to improve drainage and runoff from storms? Something else? Tell us in the comments. 

Craig Baines September 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Pro-active code enforcement not simply responding to 311 complaints that are conducted daily and on foot by a single person who has this assignment and can become familiar with trouble spots and the violators where you can see much more instead of "drive by" inspections that we have now. Issue summonses when infractions are indentified like NYC does, not warnings or order to remedies we are way past that point. It is simple property owners must clean daily, yes seven days a week where they are responsible to clean in front of each property and curb line one foot out from the curb. Change garbage pick-up schedule where it mirrors Great Neck Plaza for example and enforce regulations where no loose garbage or kitchen garbage bags are allowed once again like NYC. We do not have to reinvent the wheel here just adopt what works elsewhere and strictly enforce what is already on the books with town employees who fully understand the towns code. Municipal garbage cans need to be swapped out for more conventional ones that are more functional and change pick- up schedule where they are emptied six days a week. Start with the micro issues before you dream of implementing macro counterproductive schemes which will achieve none of the above. You need to be able to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run so you do not start off with a marathon, keep it simple and take care of the little things and the big things may take care of themselves. Regards, Craig
Local Resident September 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Without the rezoning, this is easy: 1) TAKE DOWN the Shield's House, no discussion on the beautification of Main Street can begin without starting here. Make it a parking lot and reserve it for merchants if necessary. Kaiman (and formal Councilman Pollack) also needs to keep his promise to the local neighborhood that ingress/egress will NOT be from Ohio Avenue. Due to the amount of cut through traffic, traffic needs to be routed onto PW Blvd. 2) Bury utility lines...I doubt this would ever happen (expense), but this was a key selling feature for the beautification of Port Washington that RFMBPW tried to sell at last year's Model Blocks presentation. So if it's pie-in-the-sky, let's include it here for discussion. 3) New sidewalks...brick would be nice, but the very least repair cracks and level the sidewalks. 4) Plant new trees where needed...getting a new tree planted should not be an 18 month process. It would also be nice if planters were properly maintained. 5) Require merchants to dispose of garbage during off-hours and not during peak hours when Main Street has a lot of foot traffic. 6) Require upkeep of storefronts...beautification does not require making everything look the same (or redeveloped as in New Cassel), it only requires upkeep and occassional renovation. It also means having a floor. 7) Signage...neon signs have no place on such a narrow street as Main Street, particularly at the most visible intersection at Port Blvd. Until tonight...
jonathan winant September 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Craig well it's about time someone said it very well without knocking everyone in local government. Another issue is safety along local roads especially Shore Rd. and Main Street where drivers and pedestrians need to be ore aware of each other. Driver can not be expected to stop on a dime when you rush across the street. Still pedestrians who wait and look for traffic should not have to fear the driver will not stop. Youngsters have to learn to get off the cell phone and pay attention when they cross the road. I hope a lot of people speak out at this Thursday's Meeting. Lets hope it does not become a meeting about berating ToNH government.
jonathan winant September 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Where is the promise that Lower Main Street would be repaved this year? Why do we have undersized garbage receptacles along Main Street which are over flowing during the weekend?
Local Resident September 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Mr. Winant...do you not realize that it is the local ToNH government that is proposing to rezone Upper Main Street? This is a ToNH planning agenda that was pushed onto the local community by RFMBPW, a civic community. Someone needs to be knocked for this poorly designed concept, and if ToNH is heading it now, they deserve to be knocked.
jonathan winant September 20, 2012 at 11:57 AM
From what I have heard and it could be wrong info. is that the Town Of N. Hempstead was the ones who wanted the beautification project by the RFMBPW to be coupled with the re-zoning. Re-zoning should never have been discussed before someone could say that Traffic feasibility and other studies were completed. The impact of what a re-zoning might do could possibly cause severe problems
Anon September 20, 2012 at 01:20 PM
would love to see the power lines buried. I think that alone makes a major impact without anything else. In fact, iIf i could only do that and nothing else due to money, I would still do that and then make more changes years in the future when more money is available. Also, although realistically not feasible without moving the building footprints, but I would love to see some buildings pushed back a little bit so that a restaurant could have a small outdoor seating area along the street, or at least have a building that could accommodate roof-top seating for a restaurant/bar. Obviously, I think everyone wants to see green-space, if possible. Also, not necessarily unified buildings, but nice and clean buildings with classy signage is key. Also, I havent really noticed the quality of the street lamps, but having really elegant and classy street lamps would always go a long way.
Local Resident September 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Of course ToNH is behind it all, I don't think this is much of a stretch...RFMBPW was merely, in all likelihood, the puppet. And that is why the opening statement by RFMBPW at last year's presentation that "it is not political" was garbage. It's also interesting how the Director of RFMBPW was recently APPOINTED to the water commissioner's position.
jonathan winant September 20, 2012 at 03:46 PM
pw That might be a start but the effort has to go a lot further faster if we want to keep business in P. W. Parking, safety, traffic are other contributing factors which if they want to rezone Main Street for buildings to be multi use (Commercial and housing) then the feasibility studies have to be done first. Have you noticed that some business owners have spent considerable time and money to redo their store fronts? Clearview Theater, Port Antiques, The building across from Ayhans and Baltimore Designs did or are doing renovations on the store fronts.
jonathan winant September 20, 2012 at 04:02 PM
If power lines are to be buried (at a ridiculous cost) then it would be the time to do sidewalks and curbs.
jonathan winant September 20, 2012 at 06:42 PM
It might make more sense to do the curbs and sidewalks before the street is done because in order to do curbs part of the street would have to be dug up.
Linda September 21, 2012 at 02:25 AM
The vacant Ghost Motorcyle building next to the Landmark park should be turned into a park-side cafe with outdoor seating.
jonathan winant September 21, 2012 at 08:27 AM
Might be problems being it is right next to (almost on top) of a residential structure. Yes it needs to be take care of but the owner can not seem to rent it. Maybe on issue is the lack of available parking at that location. Parking along the street would not be feasible for such a vernue thtas my opinion.
Laura Johnson September 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Wow! Still recovering from last night's meeting.
jonathan winant September 21, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Last nights meeting was as far from what I expected as can be. Some should have created a presntation as there is a lot of possibly false information circulating. Missing were those who I feel needed to adress matters which could have a direct bearing how residents feel about the proposal thrown out at us. Most important was to hear how commercial proerty owners feel and what their intentions might be should the rezoning get the approval. This would have a direct effect on issues concerning Parking, construction, garbage, sewwer, gas, water, Policing and other services. Presentl;y people feel garbage is a concern, Parking.seems to be a confusing issue. Anyone want to pick up the slack?
jonathan winant September 21, 2012 at 08:32 PM
At one point there was mention of business owners and how they felt. The proposal should have been discussed with PROPERTY owners. as someone suggested. Parking ws very missunderstood. That issue was not about moving your car as much as whether or not property owners could supply a space to meet the requirements concerning residential rentals in buildings.
Local Resident September 21, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Of course the property owners have been consulted, in all likelihood it is the property owners who started the rezoning ball rolling. Do you really think the ToNH (and RFMBPW) would decide to propose rezoning without some local ownership nudging?
Local Resident September 21, 2012 at 09:55 PM
ToNH wrongly (or strategically) assumed that everyone in attendance was up to speed (and understood) the original Model Blocks proposal presented by RFMBPW last November. And is it that difficult to read between the lines? The property owners intentions are to build up properties on Main Street up to three floors (ground floor commercial, with two floors above for residential). Otherwise, why go through this whole process?
jonathan winant September 22, 2012 at 08:38 AM
Property owner might have been consulted but at this meeting no one had any responses from them or what their intentions were. How many would rebuild or think about demolishing their building to put up new structures? How many would want to have residential units knowing that they have to supply a parking space for each unit? There were alot of questions never discussed.
Local Resident September 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Over the past year, throughout this process, no Owner has come forward publicly to voice approval (or disapproval) of the rezoning proposal. A few Owners were in the audience so they had the opportunity to stand up and tell us how they feel. For me, that spoke volumes on their stance. I also think it is very clear and very safe to assume that a number of Owners are behind this, otherwise why would ToNH and RFMBPW go through this entire process? It doesn't make sense. And besides, does it really matter if an Owner would have stood up and said "no, I have no intentions of demolishing my existing building and rebuilding to 3-floors'? It would not be the first time a politician has misrepresented the facts or an Owner conveniently changed his mind.
jonathan winant September 22, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Nassau Taxpayer you are correct with your views. At the meeting I tgried to find out why a large amount of information was not discussed. We should heard from property owners not store owners who mostly rent their store. All associated services(ie: Water, Sewage, Garbage, Gas,) which would see more burden was not discussed. I felt like this meeting was a shameful disgrace to the community. Tell us very little, do not give any idea what might happen if the proposal goes through. Handing out ANY piece of paper with a "yes" or" no": to be checked off was insulting to say the least.
Ken Nowicki September 27, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Trash, trash, trash!!! That is my BIGGEST complaint about living here in this otherwise charming community. I've lived here now for nearly eleven years and I've never seen a more filthy, dirty, Main Street with litter always scattered everywhere. I definitely think 2 very important things need to be done here. 1. Institute a NO LITTERING mindset with the community. Beginning with our youngest children all the way through K-12. Also, kids learn how it's "okay to litter" by watching their parents litter. So many parents need to change their ways too, learning starts at home! I've witnessed many occasions of adults on Main Street or just around town littering right before my eyes. 2. Definitely there should be more city workers or someone patrolling Main Street picking up trash and debris scattered all over the sidewalks, gutters, and plantings, etc. Not just a few times a season, but FREQUENTLY! 3-4 times a week would be a good start... at least. This town has SO much potential for being so much more than it is... it is a great community with a nice diverse population. It would be so much nicer though if it wasn't a trash heap everywhere you turn. Bottom line though, people have to be educated that it is NOT OKAY TO LITTER! That is my two cents.
Port Citizen December 03, 2012 at 07:57 PM
PETITION LINK ATTACHED: STOP THE RE-ZONING OF MAIN STREET! To support the cause put forth by Port Washington Voice, which is "Beautify, Don't Destroy", please click the below link and electronically sign the petition. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-the-redevelopment-of-main-street-port-washington.html Attend the Dec 11th ToNH meeting to express your concern. The Town isn't listening, they aren't hearing the local citizen's voices!!! This petition is important, a strong voice of many!


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