The Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District (BID) recently completed Phase I of its Long Island Railroad streetscape improvement project.
These enhancements were made next to Delux Transportation Services' main entrance and behind the four-story buildings on the northeast portion of the LIRR parking lot. Additional upgrades include new brick paved sidewalks and brick tree wells and plantings of ten flowering trees and other species of perennials and annuals.
The aim, according to the BID, was to transform this high-traffic area so that it appeals to commuters, Delux Transportation customers, and passers-by.
A Nassau County Community Revitalization Project grant provided major funding for this project. Additional financial support was provided by the BID, which also oversaw the entire project and by Peter Blasucci, owner of Delux Transportation Services.
According to the BID, without Blasucci’s support, the project would have likely stalled.
“I am so pleased with the outcome of this brick paving and planting project,” Blasucci said. “The BID was very diligent about overseeing the brick sidewalk installation and ensuring the trees and other plantings chosen would be attractive and drought tolerant. Many of my customers have commented on how beautiful the sidewalks around our business look.”
The Town of North Hempstead also contributed by helping to draw up plans, and install the brick pavers, tree wells and plantings.
“This is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when the town works with local villages, business improvement districts and school districts to provide cost-effective services for our taxpayers,” said Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman. “Through the town’s Office of Inter-Municipal Coordination, we have streamlined our local government so that we can provide municipal services like this wonderful streetscape and beautification project.”
Working with Town Highway Supervisor Nunzio Vetrano, who heads the Town’s Sidewalk Division, BID Executive Director Roy Smitheimer selecting trees and plantings, ensuring that they were both attractive and deep-rooted trees for greater drought tolerance. The crape myrtles, plums and dogwood trees and other plantings were also selected because they are indigenous to the area for greater long-term health.
Smitheimer consulted with Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington Executive Director Mindy Germain and the arborist at Clark Botanical Gardens for their input and assistance in the removal of four diseased trees along the sidewalk in the northeast portion of the LIRR parking lot and guidance regarding tree selection.
“A project like this that dramatically improves the esthetics and walkability of high-traffic areas such as the LIRR station is an excellent use of county funds,” Nassau County Leg. Wayne Wink said. “The experience and professionalism the BID demonstrated throughout this project made the entire process flow very efficiently.”
Smitheimer also coordinated with the town to place two Town/BID trash receptacles along the completed sidewalk. In addition, Blasucci purchased cigarette receptacles to be positioned next to the trash receptacles to help keep the new sidewalks cleaner.
“Having grown up in Port Washington, I can honestly say that the LIRR station has never looked better,” Smitheimer said. “This was an important project for the BID, local businesses, commuters, and the entire community. When several groups join forces for a common cause, great things can be accomplished.”
The BID extended thanks to Wink and Blasucci for their financial support as well as their and input, and credited North Shore Garden Center and Bob Retnauer with RDA Landscape Architects with providing recommendations about the best trees and plantings to choose for this project.