Tag Archives: Lindenwood Shopping Center

Speed board installed near Lindenwood’s P.S. 232


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

Speeders take note and slow down.

A new mobile speed board has been installed across the street from P.S. 232 in Lindenwood, right outside the bustling Lindenwood Shopping Center on 153rd Avenue.

“The Department of Transportation (DOT) has finally responded to our concerns,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, who requested a “traffic calming device” be brought into the area.

School officials, parents and community members have been asking and fighting for safer streets around the elementary school for years. Administration and faculty members frequently escort students across the busy intersection at 153rd Avenue and 83rd Street.

In September, State Senator Joseph Addabbo requested P.S. 232 receive speed cameras for a pilot program designed to nab speedy drivers around city schools.

Now, the DOT has stepped in and put up the temporary speed board, setting the speed limit at 25 miles per hour. The organization is still completing a study that will determine whether speed bumps are needed in the area. DOT’s School Safety Unit has also committed to coordinate with the school’s parents and students to identify other solutions.

Goldfeder said the speed board will “deter drivers from using this stretch of road as a personal speedway.”

“This is the first step in the right direction, but we must remain vigilant to protect our children and community,” he said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Push for speed cameras around Howard Beach schools


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Speeding drivers will be put to a stop if one south Queens pol has his way.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo is pushing for Howard Beach’s P.S. 232 and 207 to be considered for a pilot program designed to nab speedy drivers around schools.

A new state law went into effect on Saturday, August 31 that permits the city to establish a five-year demonstration pilot program to monitor school speed zones citywide and allows surveillance evidence to be used to impose liability for speeding.

Addabbo, who voted for the bill, said parents and school officials throughout his district have expressed concerns about speeding drivers traveling the streets in their school zones that see heavy traffic, but have inadequate traffic-calming measures.

“I know there are a number of schools in my district that face unsafe street conditions each school day. I am prepared to examine every school and every method available to ensure the safety of our schoolchildren,” he said.

P.S. 232 neighbors the bustling Lindenwood Shopping Center at 153rd Avenue and 83rd Street, and school staff wants to keep students safe around arrival and dismissal time. P.S. 207 parents similarly want to keep kids safe from the speeding drivers that zoom down its residential street.

The new law required Addabbo submit his requests to the Department of Transportation to get the two approved cameras. He also intends to work on crossing guard areas, pedestrian crosswalks, stop signs, traffic signals and speed bumps around school zones.

Through this legislation, the city can set up speed cameras in up to 20 school speed zones in each borough at any given time. Liability for violations would be imposed upon the vehicle’s owner and violations would be determined through the city Parking Violations Bureau.

The initial speed cameras installed in the borough will be rotated over time and locations may be determined based on state statistics on where crash ratings and posted speed limits versus speeds clocked were the highest.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Parents, officials call for crosswalk outside Lindenwood school


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

As students poured out of school, a crowd gathered on the corner of 153rd Avenue and 83rd Street in Lindenwood.

Passing through were parents and guardians, sometimes holding the hands of several children as they tried to cross 153rd Avenue toward the Lindenwood Shopping Center. The crossing guard shuttled people across 83rd Street, but could not stop traffic because there is no crosswalk.

Parents, teachers and community leaders rallied outside P.S. 232 on Friday, June 14. They urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install a crosswalk across 153rd Avenue at the corner of the school.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, whose daughters are students there, hosted the rally.

He said the goal was to first get a crosswalk, and then get proper signs to make the intersection a little safer. He added he has also spoken to the 106th Precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, who said a crosswalk there would increase safety

“I did have a conversation with Inspector Pascale,” Addabbo said. “He said he’s in favor of a crosswalk if they ask [...] He would want one here to allow his crossing guard to cross people.”

Community Board 10 would support a crosswalk plan if DOT were to come up with one for the street, Board chair Elizabeth Braton said.

“If DOT indicates that it’s safe from their standpoint of traffic engineering,” she said, “I don’t see any reason why the board would not support it.”

“We don’t feel safe without that crosswalk there,” said parent Lisa Neumann. “Hopefully, they’ll get our message.”
Stefanie Calise, whose son attends nearby P.S. 146 and gets dropped off at the intersection, said she nearly got hit by a car last week trying to cross the street.

Children “can’t cross that by themselves,” she said.

However, a DOT spokesperson said the intersection does not meet the criteria for a crosswalk under federal guidelines. Officials are looking into other ways to ease traffic at the intersection, the spokesperson said.

The most recent data DOT has to go by are from 2007 to 2011, when there were no injuries at the intersection.

Addabbo addressed the statistics at the rally and called for a more aggressive approach.

“Far too often, our city reacts to a bad situation,” he said. “They’ll give us statistics about not enough accidents here, not enough fatalities here. What we’re asking: let’s not be reactive, let’s be pro-active. Let’s prevent an accident.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Lindenwood Shopping Center to get better signs, liquor store


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

LINDENWOOD 01

The Lindenwood Shopping Center is bustling.

A bolder fire lane and repainted parking lines were added to the center’s busy parking lot following a number of complaints from residents and elected officials. New, larger signage will be installed soon as well.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, who pushed for clearer lines and direction in the shopping center, said he had only seen pictures of the new lot, but was pleased with how it looked.

“I appreciate the fact that they’re trying to do it the right way,” he said. “The Lindenwood Shopping Center and the management have invested a tremendous amount of money to rebuild, to redo the parking lot so it lasts and it keeps families safe for many years to come.”

Residents and shoppers had voiced problems with handicapped parking, drivers going the wrong way and shoppers parking their cars in the fire lane.

Joseph Trotta, the manager of the shopping center and a member of the Lindenwood Alliance, said the revamp of the lot, which cost an estimated $100,000, would be completely done once new signs were installed.

“Once the signs go up, we’ll hopefully see what effect that will have,” he said. “[We’re] putting all the ingredients together.”

Some new additions, however, were not as warmly welcome by the whole community.

The State Liquor Authority (SLA) approved on Tuesday, September 11 a planned liquor store for the Lindenwood Shopping Center, which had met reluctance by the area’s civic associations.

GNG Wine and Liquor was granted a liquor license after the owner’s primary hearing on August 29 had no result because of further investigation.

Members of the Lindenwood Alliance, as well as Community Board 10 worried that the liquor store was too close to P.S. 232 The Walter Ward School, which is across the street from the shopping center. At the civic’s August meeting, members who were opposed to the store signed individual letters to the SLA in opposition to the shop.

Along with the proximity to the school, residents were worried the store would attract an unruly crowd to the relatively quiet, residential area.

The liquor store’s owner, a liquor license specialist and representatives from the shopping center’s management company appeared before the community at the meeting to make their case for the store. The group told residents that the store would be clean, keep hours that were not late and was legally far enough from the school.

Following the license approval, the specialist, John Springer, said he and the owner were relieved the SLA approved the store. The owner, Springer said, was looking forward to the store opening next month and would be a good tenant.

Joann Ariola, president of the Alliance, said that the community would continue to keep an eye on the store and ensure its owner is living up to his promises.

“We will have an open relationship with the owners of that business,” she said. “If that business is not a good neighbor, it will not be patronized.”

Parking problems persist at Lindenwood Shopping Center


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

QUEENS COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

Bobby Patel, owner of Village Card and Gifts, said during busy times of year — like during the holidays or when school is in session — it is not uncommon to see cars blocking the fire lane in the parking lot of the Lindenwood Shopping Center.

About twice a year, he said there will be an accident because a driver might be going the wrong way.

Parking, misdirection and the need for better-drawn lines are some of the problems residents run into when using the lot, despite a strict policy from law enforcement on fire lane parking.

One Lindenwood resident said people parking in the fire lane can affect drivers trying to pull in or out of handicapped spots.

“For the senior citizens it’s not good,” he said, motioning toward a section of handicapped spots not far from the fire lane. The resident said he had witnessed several incidents in which an elderly person tried to get out of a spot but couldn’t because of someone parked in the nearby fire lane.

Police from the 106th Precinct are not allowed to enforce moving violations in the private parking lot, an NYPD spokesperson said. They are only allowed to ticket drivers for illegally parking in handicapped spots or in the fire lane. The number of calls for fire lane violations was undetermined but prominent, the spokesperson said. No matter the amount of time parked, or the reason, the spokesperson said, there is a zero tolerance policy for leaving a car in the fire lane, which runs the length of the strip mall.

The Lindenwood Alliance has recommended several options to better the parking situation, said Joann Ariola, president of the organization. One idea is to hire a private enforcement company to monitor the violations in the parking lot.

The center’s management company, Howard Plaza Realty, has been working with the civic group to address these concerns. Ariola said the company plans to repave the parking lot, put up more signs and make sharper lines for the fire lanes and parking spaces.

Joe Trotta, a manager at the company, said paving for the parking lot is planned for September, with new parking lines and one way arrows on the pavement.

“Hopefully with the paving and the new striping and the arrow directions will help to alleviate this problem,” he said.

Private enforcement, however, is not something the company has looked into at this time, Trotta said.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder has also contacted the management company regarding the parking and direction issues in the shopping center. The shopping center was an ideal location that well-served the community, Goldfeder said, but the fading lines and signage needed to be corrected to avoid further problems.

“These problems are simple to fix and should be addressed as soon as possible,” Goldfeder said. “Owners and management at the shopping center have been great community partners and I am confident that they will do everything they can to ensure that shoppers are safe while visiting local stores.”

Calls to Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s office and the Department of Transportation were not returned.

Despite getting ticketed, sometimes numerous times, Patel said some people get used to parking in the lane and continue to do so, no matter what.

“They don’t want to walk,” he said.

Lindenwood liquor store meets opposition


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Concerned over its proximity to a school, many members of the Lindenwood Alliance voiced reluctance toward a proposed liquor store in the Lindenwood Shopping Center.

Members voted 20-8 against the liquor store at their August 13 meeting. The primary worry was that the store, which would be located at 82-33 153rd Avenue, would be too close to P.S. 232, which is across the street.

Along with the proximity to the school, residents said they were unsettled about unruly characters coming in and out of the store, late night hours and lewd advertising.

Residents said there were also problems with the shopping center as a whole, mainly regarding traffic. Several people said there had been accidents or incidents as a result of shoppers parking in the center’s fire lanes, and driving the opposite way on one-way streets.

The liquor store’s potential owner, Gurinder Singh, was present at the meeting with an advisor, John Springer, to hear residents’ worries and plead their case for the shop.

Springer said he had walked the distance from the school to the site and determined it to be 338 feet door to door. This, he said, is well over the minimum distance of 200 feet.

“There’s a buffer,” Springer said. “The legislature decided 200 feet was a good enough buffer.”

Regardless of the outcome, Councilmember Eric Ulrich said it was a good sign that the potential owner was interested in the community’s opinion.

“I think it’s an act of good faith on their part,” Ulrich told members.

Howard Plaza Realty, the management company for the Lindenwood Shopping Center, was represented by Catherine Napolitano and Joseph Trotta. Trotta is also a member of the Alliance. The two told members that when searching for someone to fill a vacant store, they look for a suitor who will mesh well with what is already there.

Napolitano said that the liquor store’s potential spot, which had been a bagel store, had been vacant for nearly two years as the management company looked for the right candidate.

Singh is due to appear for his liquor license on August 29, he said, and hopes that it will be approved.