Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shovel the sidewalk please


The Village of Valley Stream on Long Island doesn’t care about its residents. For the past twelve years I have navigated the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and Forest Avenue very cautiously while walking my children to the Brooklyn Avenue School. When there is snow on the ground it becomes life threatening. Living only five blocks away, it doesn’t pay to drive them. There is no parking anyway, especially when there is snow. For some odd reason, when the village plows in front of the school, they leave snow mounds up to four feet high and eight feet long. There is not enough room for parents to pull up and drop off the children. If a car does get close enough to the curb, sight is limited and children are walking behind moving vehicles.  The principal of the school, Dr. Comis, stands outside every morning helping the children out of the car. Just recently, one of the PTA co-presidents, Cathy Grupp was helping him while a car began to move with a child walking behind it. Mrs. Grupp got frustrated and began yelling at the moving car, however, in fairness, he couldn’t see with the giant snow mound in his way.  The mother who let the child out was just as responsible for not getting out to help her child and for letting the child out on the driver side of the car. All of this could have been prevented if the snow mounds were not there.

The corner of Brooklyn Avenue and Forest Avenue has always been dangerous. I have been told that many years ago it was a drag strip. A stop sign was eventually put in front of my house, but no one ever abides by it. I was able to petition for a Children at Play sign over ten years ago, but again, drivers ignore it. The rear of Dunkin Donuts faces this intersection and the opening of the drive through has only increased the danger.  Cars race down the block to beat the light at Sunrise Highway and even some of the teachers of the school have been seen speeding down my block. The treacherous route to school becomes an obstacle course with all of the dog feces left on the walkway. The stream of Valley Stream runs right through this area between South Brush Drive and Brookside Drive. This area of sidewalk is owned and maintained either by the Village of Valley Stream, Town of Hempstead or Nassau County. No one knows for sure. Or at least when people complain about the sidewalk and it not getting cleared of snow or cleaned of dog feces, the runaround game begins. So for twelve years, I have maneuvered over ice and snow, broken three strollers or walk in the street at this dangerous intersection with small children.

Above: between S. Brush Dr. and Brookside Dr. Below: intersection where kids need to walk in street!

Many mothers have called the village and no change. Two storms in three weeks and the area is still not shoveled.  The next block isn’t any better. 78 Brooklyn Avenue is a multi-family home on a corner and that sidewalk never gets shoveled. I bet the village will issue them a summons, but not get one of their workers to shovel the sidewalk between S. Brush and Brookside. The next block is Holy Trinity Church and Nursery School (where three of my boys went). They have a one-person path cleared, with icy patches everywhere and this is the block leading to the elementary school and the nursery school.

I just don’t get it. The taxes to live in this village are ridiculous. What are we paying for? I see village employees all over, sitting around chatting with coffee in their hands, ogling every woman that walks by. It is nice to see my tax money at work. My husband and children shovel my sidewalk meticulously. It looks like they sprayed it with Summer Wheeze. The Village of Valley Stream and the rest of the non-shovelers should be ashamed!


A perfect shovel job!




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