BY JON CRONIN
Woodhaven residents are upset at the prospect of 87th Street off Jamaica Avenue possibly becoming a one-way street.
Frank Tumino, the reverend of St. Thomas the Apostle, wrote a letter to Community Board 9, stating that the church had reached out to the city’s Department of Transportation on how to curtail the double parking that occurs when parents pick up and drop off students at the church’s school. Tumino said that he had initially wanted cast-iron bollards to prevent parents from parking on the sidewalk, but the DOT told him that this was not allowed. He pointed out that the DOT suggested the street be converted to one-way.
But Tomino said that church leaders were unable to voice their concerns about the one-way street since CB 9’s meeting was being held on Holy Thursday.
“It is impossible and an insult for us to attend to express our collective outrage at the suggestion that St. Thomas the Apostle or its pastor made this request with proper consultation,” he wrote to CB 9.
Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) also wrote a letter to CB 9 stating that he is against the conversion. He noted that it is the only street that allows motorists to travel from Jamaica Avenue to Atlantic Avenue.
Miller wrote that the attempt to alleviate the double parking is “short sighted” and “the lack of enforcement has exacerbated the current situation.” He added that residents have expressed concerns to him that an engine company on that street would have more difficulty getting into the station and be forced to go down narrow side streets.
Kenichi Wilson, chairman of CB 9’s transportation committee, said that the committee is against the idea and the DOT is not moving ahead with the plan. But the agency has told him that they find the plan “feasible.” Wilson noted that he has reached out to St. Thomas the Apostle School, but has not heard back.
Martin Colberg, president of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, and Giedra Kregzdys, vice president of the association, also said that they are against the conversion and noted that parents parking on the sidewalk at the school crack the sidewalk, for which the school is charged. Colberg believes that officers from the 102nd Precinct should ticket parents more for double parking.
“That’s not fair to the community,” he said. “If they’re breaking the law, they need to move. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to drop off your kid.”
He also believes that cutting the last two-way streets in the area would increase the number of delivery-truck drivers on more residential streets.