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What Happened to The Plan to Fix Lower Main Street Congestion?

A call for action.

For many years, residents who traveled, especially during peak hours uptown on Lower Main Street, consistently encountered a traffic jam as they approached the intersection of Main Street and Shore Road. A couple of years ago, the Town of North Hempstead came up with a plan that it explained would remedy the situation.

For approximately $1 million, the Town purchased the property between Covert Lane and Jackson Street, near  , with the plan to eliminate certain parking spots on Main Street, and replace them with a parking lot built on this property. The reasoning was that this effort would provide space for  a dedicated turn lane from Main Street onto Shore Road, as well as a thru-lane. This way traffic would not come to a standstill when drivers waited to make the turn.

In what seemed to take forever, the property was slowly demolished (emphasis on slowly) and then even more slowly the ground was graded and a meter parking lot was completed. However, although it has been many months since the parking lot was opened, the parking spots were never eliminated. Thus, traffic is as bad as ever, the Town spent upwards of $1 million, the public has not received any recent updates, and we simply have an under-utilized parking lot.

Isn't it about time that we find out what's going on, and why the traffic situation has not yet been addressed, since that was the reason given for this venture in the first place? Don't we deserve both an explanation, as well as a timetable?

Fred L. Pollack March 01, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Richard- The turning lane will be in place this spring. Fred L. Pollack
R Miller March 01, 2011 at 11:42 AM
My question to everyone is how can the town make a parking lot that does not meet current specifications space wise? I thought you needed 18' for the parking stall and 20' for the dive area. You go and look at this lot and it does not meet this criteria. The next thing I would like to ask. Has anyone seen the quality of work? Since the town paved it in 34 degree weather with a crew of 18 men (which is double the size needed to perform the work) the lot is starting to buckle. That is what upsets me is the way the project was done. It seems that taxpayer dollars were not watched at all. This should of been subcontracted completely to a qualified contractor. If this was done the project would of been completed in the early summer.
RHMcCabe March 02, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Longtime port is correct! Why is their no overnite parking for the taxpayers who paid for this fiasco! Robert
Fred L. Pollack March 03, 2011 at 03:25 AM
Just saw the comments about the new parking lot at Main and Jackson. The facts: There is no buckling. What you saw is a sink hole which will be repaired as quickly as possible. The delay was not caused by the Town. The demolition of the two buildings and putting up the retaining walls along the rear and on the Jackson side was done by a private contractor, The contractor was selected through a public bidding process and was the low bidder. He took far longer to do the work than he should have, in part because he tried to get more money for the job than he bid and we wouldn't pay him the increased amounts he wanted. The Town Highway Department installed the dry wells, built the small wall along the tire store side of the lot and paved it. They did the job in time and under budget. The lot was designed by a private engineering firm hired by he Town for all of the engineering issues related to the change being made to the traffic flow. The size of the parking stalls etc conform to normal practices. There is n overnight parking in this lot for the same reasons there is no overnight parking in any of the Port Parking District lots. This is when the lots are swept, plowed, etc. Further, this lot is not meant for residential parking but for parking for the customers of the local businesses since it will replace the parking spaces being removed from Main Street for the turning lane. FRED L. POLLACK
R Miller March 03, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Mr. Pollack, So you are telling me you are satisfied with this project overall? So it was other peoples fault not the Town? So we are using the playing the Nero playing the fiddle as Rome burnt down defense? Where do you get your information? Let me ask these questions: 1) Where did the town post the notice for the bidding on the construction of the retaining wall? I did not see it. There is a chance I missed it. Please advise. 2) Prior to awarding the contract how was the vendor vetted on their qualifications? 3) This one is a big issue for me is who enforces the prevailing wage of the contractors? I spoke to the workers and they were not paid correctly. I left messages at the DPW department and no one returned a call. I will not go into details of the prevailing wage work but look up labor law 220. This is a class E felony. So please explain the town's failure on this issue.
R Miller March 03, 2011 at 12:24 PM
4) Who supervised the ongoing work with the outside vendor in the town? How could the Town allow them to pour the footings incorrectly? Employ questionable shoring techniques where someone could have been killed? To say it was the contractor was to blame and not the town is insulting to the residents. 5) Prior to the demolition the Town had workers that spent weeks cleaning out the inside of the buildings prior to demo. Was this on time and under budget? You think that was efficient? 6) You mention that the lot was designed by a private firm. It is the Town's responsibility to make sure it is correct prior to commencing work. A parking lot laid out like that would never be allowed in the private sector. I still content the dimensions are not correct for proper traffic flow. May I point out one of many deficiencies is how the handicap parking spaces are not constructed according to current federal specifications. If we were to shoot with a transit I would bet the cross slope exceed the maximum allowable pitch of 2%.
R Miller March 03, 2011 at 12:24 PM
7) Next should we talk about how long it took to install the drainage for this site? Was it efficient to dig and then stockpile the extra soil instead of loading it out on trucks when excavating. You are telling me it was more efficient to stockpile the soil and let it sit there for 2 months and then go back and load it out? How was this saving the taxpayers money? 8) You mentioned that it Town constructed the small retaining wall. How did we save taxpayers money by working after hours and Saturdays on this wall? Was overtime not paid? This costs money. 9) The asphalt where you say is not buckled, but I see a hole where it has flaked off. Please show me where in the industry standards it is approved to install asphalt on a day the temperature went up to only 34 degrees. If this was a private parking lot I am sure the town would have rejected this.
R Miller March 03, 2011 at 12:25 PM
10) Another example of using the rules only when needed and ignore as needed is the handicap ramp on the sidewalk. I would like to know the answer is when it is allowed to exceed a 5% slope since that is the case here. The other is why does the town not pour the curb separate of the sidewalk? I thought that was Town spec to do it that way? 11) Site protection: This was never in compliance with Town codes. Not once was this project fenced off with 6’ fencing, no silt protection, and no engineered shoring. If your code enforcement was to ever visit the site they could have had field day writing violations. That is what would have happened on a private site. To sum it up I feel that the Town could have done this in a more cost efficient manner and I find your defense of what happened to be weak at best. We cannot turn back time but, my question is what if anything for the future is the Town going to do to prevent another debacle like this from happening?
DIANE DEFEO March 03, 2011 at 10:14 PM
WELL, HERE WE GO AGAIN, ONE PERSON "FOR" THIS NONSENSE OF A LAW YOU WILL ENACT TO REMOVE THE PARKING IN FRONT OF HARBOR DELI & OTHER BUSINESSES ON MAIN ST. OUT OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE PETITIONED "NOT IN FAVOR" OF REMOVING THE PARKING. JUST BECAUSE MR. POLLACK DOESN'T WANT TO WAIT A BIT FOR A RED LIGHT, WE ALL NEED TO PUT OUR STORES IN JEOPARDY OF LOSING CUSTOMERS. ANYONE WHO THINKS THAT THIS ADDED LANE IS GOING TO WORK IS IN DREAM LAND. BUT DON'T WORRY, IF IT DOESNT WORK OUT AS PLANNED.... THEY WILL RETURN TO THE ORIGINAL WAY IT WAS.... YEAH RIGHT!!!!! MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL.. IS THE SAFETY ISSUES. THE CARS WILL BE SO CLOSE TO THE SIDEWALKS AND ENDANGER THE PEDESTRIANS LIVES. BUT AS I STATED AT THE TOWN HALL BOARD MEETING THE EVENING OF THE VOTE FOR THIS REDICULOUS LAW "YOU CAN NOT RETURN SOMEONES LIFE WHEN IT IS TAKEN IN SUCH AN "ACCIDENT". THE BLOOD WILL BE ON YOUR HANDS MR. POLLACK AND THE REST OF THE BOARD. I WILL PRAY NO SUCH "ACCIDENT" HAPPENS AND HOPE I WILL BE HEARD!!!! SINCERELY DIANE DEFEO
RHMcCabe March 04, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Get the crook out of office!
R Miller March 04, 2011 at 11:25 AM
I would appreciate a response to this. My main point is the Town should spend it's money wisely where there is a benifit to the town. What I don't understand is that we will spend our money in a good way to reconstruct the pool at Manorhaven park something where there is a real benefit for everyone and then throw it away over hear. Can this be explained?
susan Micelotta March 04, 2011 at 09:43 PM
While congestion does build at certain times of the day at shore rd and main, I don't understand how impatience has taken precidence over safety!! It is one of the most difficult corners to cross at and now drivers will be speeding around the corner from shore rd into pedestrians waiting to cross. Shouldn't safety be your first concern!! I am a store owner on lowe main st. and not only are you endangering the safety of my customers, while on my side of the street, you have made it impossible for them to cross the street from "The parking lot"that has only one way in and out.By taking away the parking spaces on both sides of the street you WILL be endangering the safety of your residents and patrons!!! This truly is an accident waiting to happen!!!!!!!!!!
Chris March 05, 2011 at 12:30 AM
Pollack had his mind made up from the begining, anything that the people of this community have said have fall on deaf ears. It seems odd that to save 5 min on a friday afternoon in the summer we even contemplated spending any amount of money let alone over a million.( thats freakin crazy) Port Washington is small town America and doesn't need more "through lanes". I hope that you have another job lined up because your blowing this one
warren brown March 05, 2011 at 02:10 PM
Well after having heard of this "thru lane" subject from the beginning, I am at a loss to think what has been done here: 1) This is such an important subject to take all the $ it cost so far and put it towards making another lane of traffic for speedsters??--This is Port Washington, the town by the Bay where for so many years had been a peaceful/beautiful village. The overbuilding here continually for all these years past just keeps multiplying the problems at hand. People can't wait for a traffic flow change?-SLOW DOWN---look at all the remnants of cars just aroung the bend in the Shore road littering the roads by Mill Pond--WHY---cause people are driving over 45 MPH and can't slow down when a car literally 'rolls thru a stop sign' from Harbor Road---It is a different and dnagerous world out there today and NOW you want a FASTER LANE with no space to move ---RIDICULOUS/DANGEROUS/PREPOSTEROUS---I believe Ms. Diane De Feo clearly pointed out the rest here in her carefully written reply
warren brown March 05, 2011 at 02:27 PM
To continue here: 2) To take away these spots just like that and open up a "disaster waiting to happen" LANE of high speed???---Where is the spot or two for HANDICAPPED going to be as REQUIRED BY LAW with certain footage etc.--I personally would want to know for my elder members going to the Dentist/ to the Harbor Deli with best food in Nassau County as well as the New revamped/quaint French restaurant with a fabulous menu and service---in FACT I AM Pursuing that most important issue By the way, since our family has been here in Port Washington since 1952 (and my Mother was born here 100 years ago when my grandfather was a Chauffeur for the GOULD family in Sands Point), I wanted to point out that the progress this village has made is truly remarkable through all the years. This fast moving lane of traffic is not one of those 'signs of progress' to be proud of instead it is diminishing (even degrading) the tranquility of this Village by the Bay. Fred Pollack will be so embarassed in the long run. People need to see that this is a prime example of $$ being spent on the wrong things as we all see the funds everywhere disappearing slowly but surely---$$ needed for (example) our Senior Citizens who helped to build this Village (this country) .Warren
RHMcCabe March 05, 2011 at 03:04 PM
Someone should tell that phony about towing cars that without posting the towing company or a telephone number cars can't be towed,just anothe line of baloney from that clown that stuck us with that monstosity of a parking lot!
justanotherday March 06, 2011 at 04:10 AM
You do know that typing in CAPS is YELLING right?
nyjohn March 06, 2011 at 05:20 PM
Hey Fred Pollack have you tried to cross the street at Main Street and shore road during the mid day and late afternoon. MAYBE you should!!!!! When the light turns yellow the race is on. Pedestrians become moving targets even when the light is in their favor. YOUR turning lane from Main Street to shore road will NOT benefit anyone because as you know there are more people making a left turn than going straight. To take away the parking spots in front of the local businesses on lower Main Street and put a freeway in is REDICDULOUS. Are you going to pay for (out of your pocket) the money the local merchants are going to lose because YOU wanted to get rid of the parking spots in front of the stores on lower main street? I don’t think so. And to put in a half ass parking lot that cost us tax payers a lot of money was a WAST!!!!! Leave the parking alone and yes there is a big issue of parking down on lower Main Street for the merchants but this isn’t the answer buy taking spots away because people are in a rush to get somewhere. The traffic is here to stay so let’s stop builders from building the two family houses in Manorhaven and developing the property at typhin steel. Because you want something that doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. THINK before YOU do things it will have an effect on everyone in this town.
R Miller March 07, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Well the hits keep on coming from the Town of North Hempstead. As if we have not learned from our mistakes on lower Main St, we are going to continue on South Bayles Ave at the new parking lot. This Saturday I watched on machine operator essentially move a pile of dirt 10' and load out concrete on to a six wheel dump truck. Let us see is it more efficient to use a 6 wheel dump truck that caries 6 yards or a ten wheel truck that carries 16 yards? Would it not be more efficent to use more than one truck? Let us not forget to add $4.00 a gallon diesel into that equation. The other point is why do this on overtime when this could be done during the week? I will not also go into the fact the machine operator spent over half the day sitting in his pick up truck. So here we go again with no regards to taxpayer dollars. Who is watching out for us in the Town?
Stan Bratskeir March 09, 2011 at 11:26 PM
This project is flawed, dangerous, expensive and unnecessary. It endangers pedestrians, makes patronizing adjacent businesses difficult and poses even greater traffic issues when cars heading west try to turn left into the new parking lot. It's not an accident that the findings of the traffic study prior to starting the project were "redacted" from the report, as if they contained nuclear secrets. This is one of those public-be-damned projects that probably began with one person's frustration with a little traffic, and turned into an elaborate and costly farce. It violates any standard of prudent management and good sense. What a waste!
Danny March 10, 2011 at 04:25 PM
If this new traffic lane works out, as it should because of all the studies that have been done. Then you should continue the trend and go all the way up Main street to Port Washington Blvd. I dont know if you are in town anytime after 2:30pm but the traffic on Main street is horrible. If it is a good fix for lower Main street then why not all of Main street? Or is it easier to only upset a few small business owners, rather then the more predominate ones.
Stan Bratskeir March 10, 2011 at 04:39 PM
The great thing about Port Washington is that it's not a thoroughfare, with traffic passing through. It's a destination, so pedestrians should count more than cars, and local businesses should count more than losing a few minutes to traffic. If you look at the study, you'll see that all of the facts have been removed, and the blank pages stamped "Redacted." This is probably because the findings conflicted with the objective of building parking and adding a lane of traffic. Moving traffic quicker along an already dangerous street is no way to solve a congestion problem. At much lower cost, the town could place a traffic officer at this intersection twice a day and let things remain as they are.
warren brown March 10, 2011 at 04:57 PM
That is a good point made about continuing this 'debacle' to prove whatever. I just will never understand the point though about "all the studies that have been done to show that this new traffic lane will work"???
warren brown March 10, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Well put ...and AMEN to that study and 'new traffic lane'. Again, Fred Pollack is going to be one very upset individual if this still goes through...and without Handicap access in accordance with the laws.
Stan Bratskeir March 10, 2011 at 05:05 PM
If residents feel that this is a bad project, what can we do to stop it from going further? Couldn't this project be stopped at just a parking lot -- at least until all of the findings in the study have been released and residents have another chance to consider it?
Danny March 10, 2011 at 07:21 PM
You mean have a politician possibly admit they were wrong? Good luck with that! Unfortunatly the only way they will be proven wrong is when someone gets hurt and by that time its to late. Yet even if it does happen they still will not admit to being wrong. There is no wrong in politics.
R Miller March 10, 2011 at 07:31 PM
Unfortunately what I see here with Mr. Pollack his has employed the Cesar has crossed the Rubicon method. He apparently is not going to turn back on this one. So for the sake of moving traffic faster on an already dangerous part of Main St and no regards to the local businesses that make up those crazy words "Main St" in this recessionary enviroment who are just making it buy, we will just all have to take our chances.
Stan Bratskeir March 10, 2011 at 08:00 PM
So, what can we do -- other than complain and commiserate -- before the new lane is created?

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