Crossing the street at an intersection at one end of Five Towns became somewhat safer, while crossing a different intersection at the other end could be considered less secure.
A crossing guard was posted was posted at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and West Broadway in Hewlett on March 5, and on the same day there was no crossing guard at Bayview and Lawrence avenues, near where Lawrence and Inwood meet.
“The commanding officer of the precinct will assign one of the POP (Problem-oriented Policing) officers to perform a full assessment and analyze the data to determine if the requested crossing warrants a crossing guard,” said Det. Lt. Richard Lebrun, the commanding officer of Nassau County’s public information office. “Traffic flow, lighting, speed limits, amount of students, road visibility and accidents are just some of the all items that are reviewed.”
Lebrun said that residents could request a crossing guard to be posted at an intersection by contacting the 4th Precinct. Which is what community members did in Hewlett. “Many parents from the district have been requesting a crossing guard there since children cross that intersection to go to and from Franklin Early Childhood Center the Woodmere Middle School as well as other schools in the district,” said David Friedman, president of the Hewlett-Woodmere Business Association.
Friedman and Ann DeMichael, a former county liaison who lives in Woodmere, posted application notices online, as it was difficult to find a person to take the part-time job that does not include benefits such as health insurance or a pension. “Every public and private school bus coming in and out of the bus yard next to the Hewlett train station drives through this intersection,” Friedman said, creating a potential hazardous situation for pedestrians, especially school-age walkers.
The Franklin Avenue and West Broadway intersection is where a car hit Joe Mollo, then 10, while crossing the street on Oct. 5, 2016, that resulted in severe injuries to the boy.
Inwood resident Mary Macafity is concerned that something similar could happen at the intersection of Lawrence and Bayview avenues. She and a few fellow residents learned of the change at a meeting on March 1. Macafity said it was the first they heard of it, and that a survey conducted in January determined a crossing was not needed at that intersection.
“I was surprised they did the survey then,” she said. “The weather was so bad for a lot of the month, I walk my dog there everyday and just yesterday I saw almost thirty kids at the corner … I’d hate to see someone get killed there.”
The small turnout disappointed Macafity, but believes there wasn’t enough notice about the meeting. “People weren’t aware of this, like they weren’t aware of the bus stops,” she noting that the MTA changed the route of the Q114 bus, and many people didn’t know because the only information were signs posted at the stops.
“They should have had a meeting before making the decision,” she said. “They need a better solution than to just take a guard away … they used to put new cops in intersections to help them become familiar with the community.”
When asked if a crossing could be reinstated, Lebrun said, “All crossings are periodically evaluated.”
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