Mayor’s Message April 15, 2019

COVERT AVENUE CLOSURE IN NEW HYDE PARK AND DETOUR PLAN

The full closure of Covert Avenue (between 1st and 5th Avenues in New Hyde Park) had been pushed back a few times, but now it is in fact proceeding on Monday April 15th. Below is information from the Third Track Contractors (3TC) regarding the closure, including the Detour Route.

Detour Route 

There is also additional information regarding traffic mitigation steps we are taking specific to Floral Park  of which we want you to be aware.

DON’T BLOCK THE BOX

In anticipation of the Covert Avenue Closure, at the beginning of this year the Floral Park Police Department began stepping up enforcement of “Don’t’ Block the Box “infractions. To date, the Police Department has issued 118 summonses for this infraction and countless warnings. Because the intersections where this presents the greatest problems are County roads, it required County approval to have the necessary line striping for “Don’t Block the Box” at these intersections.

Back in October, the Village reached out to County Executive Curran and County Legislators Rich Nicolello and Vinny Muscarella for their assistance with various mitigation proposals based on the recommendations of the Village’s traffic expert, NV5. Included in those requests was to have the line striping for Don’t Block the Box done at:

  • Plainfield Avenue & Magnolia Avenue
  • Plainfield Avenue & Tulip Avenue
  • Atlantic Avenue & Tulip Avenue

We want to thank the County for assisting us in our traffic mitigation steps and making our requests part of the County’s  requirements for approval of 3TC’s  Covert Avenue Closure and Detour Plan.

We are advised that 3TC will complete the line striping of these intersections early this week. Additionally, our Police Department will continue with its stepped up enforcement of Don’t Block the Box violations.

ADDING A RIGHT TURN LANE AT THE CORNER OF PLAINFIELD AND WOODBINE

Another request the Village made of the County (and the County included as part of its requirements for the Covert Detour Plan) was the creation of a right turn lane at the corner of Plainfield (a County Road) and Woodbine/Magnolia. This right turn lane will be created, requiring the elimination of 4 metered parking spots on Plainfield near the corner of Woodbine /Magnolia.  It is believed a right turn lane at this location will ease some of the vehicle backup on Plainfield during the evening rush.

TRAFFIC SIGNAL CHANGES ON TULIP AND PLAINFIELD

For years the Village has been requesting the County to address the problem with the traffic signal timing on Plainfield and Tulip. We also included this issue in our request to the County regarding the areas that needed to be addressed in relation to the Covert Detour Plan. Changes in traffic signal timing requires a “synchronization study”, which involves a good amount of data collection and analysis before changes in signal timing can be implemented. The County, in acting on our request, required as one of their conditions of approval of the Covert Detour Plan, that 3TC have their traffic engineers, Stantec, perform the required traffic synchronization study.

We are informed that the County has received the synchronization study from Stantec and changes to the traffic signal timing will be made.

ONE-WAYS IN FLORAL PARK

To keep as much as possible of the detoured traffic from Covert off of the residential streets, the Village has made certain traffic flow changes in the Village. See Trustee Cheng’s comments from the March 5th and March 20th Village Board meetings for a more complete explanation of these changes. Click the following link Trustee Cheng’s Presentation . Most notably, Beverly and Cisney Avenues are now temporarily one-way streets east of Orchid.

INCREASED POLICE ENFORCEMENT

All of these traffic changes and stepped up enforcement will require additional police attention. It is the Village’s intention to charge these expenses for increased police and traffic enforcement to the Community Benefit Fund which was established pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Village and the Long Island Railroad/MTA.

CONTINUED MONITORING

A lot of pre-planning went in to try to lessen the impact on Floral Park from the Covert Avenue Closure and Detour Plan. However, no amount of pre-planning will anticipate and address every possible issue. Additionally, as the Village’s own traffic expert for this project advises, we will never precisely know how the Covert Avenue Closure and Detour Plan will impact traffic flow until it starts. Now it is starting.  So we will have to keep monitoring and adapting. As Trustee Cheng previously requested, if residents have any other suggestions about traffic flow, please contact Trustee Cheng via the Village website or send him an e-mail.

SHOP LOCAL

Finally, I just want to request that the Village residents make a special effort to patronize our local businesses, shops and restaurants during this period of the Covert Closure and Detour. We are very fortunate that our business community adds so much to the vitality of Floral Park. The Covert Detour Plan will probably impact our residents and may make it more difficult for our residents to get around during this time. But our local small businesses may be negatively impacted in the way they make a living as a result of the construction activity. To the extent you can, please make an extra effort to patronize our local businesses during this period