Cedarhurst resident are no strangers to close quarters. According to a 2016 survey by the U.S. Census, 6,667 people live in the less than square mile-sized village.
Homes are closely quartered throughout the area and the roadways are no larger than 40-feet wide, smaller than more contemporary roads, and built way before multi-car families became commonplace.
Some residents along Grove Avenue, which connects West Broadway to Broadway and intersects Central Avenue and the Long Island Rail Road tracks, created an online petition to register their complaints. As of press time nearly 150 people added their names to the petition.
Grove Avenue’s proximity to commercial areas means that employees of the local businesses park along the street creating congestion on the narrow road. Vehicles must stop and allow one to pass before proceeding. “It’s like playing Tetris going down the block,” said Riki Padeah, a mother of four who lives on Grove Avenue.
Padeah said that besides the situation being inconvenient, she worries about the lack of visibility around the vehicles could put her children in danger should a ball bounce into the street. “And when the snow came, forget it, when the school buses come, forget it,” she said, adding that sometimes the road is essentially impassable.
Another resident, Rachel Lemberger echoed Padeah’s sentiment about the buses. “The block is completely packed all day long,” she said. “The buses get stuck in the middle of the block, come down at 1:30 [p.m.] and sit for a half hour.”
One potential solution that residents brought to the village’s attention is making Grove Avenue one-way at their end as well. On the Grove Avenue south of Central Avenue it is a one-way road.
The village board heard comments from several people who live on Grove Avenue at the Feb. 5 meeting and Mayor Benjamin Weinstock explained the potential outcomes, and that they could possibly be combined. “We can do nothing. We can make it a one way,” he said. “We can do alternate side parking to free up some space, or we could totally eliminate parking.”’
Opinions differed on the best solution. Some residents wanted to make it a one-way street and institute alternative side parking, others thought simply making it a one-way would be the best solution. Despite differences in opinion, everyone agreed that something needs to be done.
The board commissioned a study that is expected take at least two months, Weinstock said. The results would be posted on the village website — cedarhurst.gov — and then a public hearing will be held to determine a possible solution.
Any changes does not have to be permanent, the trustees said. “We’ve always looked for the right solution,” Weinstock said. “But we generally give as much deference as possible to the people who live on the block.”