The Great Neck Village Board of Trustees agreed to reach out to Nassau County to see about implementing additional safety measures at the intersection of Hicks Lane and Forest Row after a series of accidents rattled local residents.
Since Hicks Lane is a county road, it’s the county’s responsibility to install any additional traffic-control measures. Mayor Pedram Bral promised to ask for increased police presence at the intersection, but since the police department likely cannot permanently station a car there also said he would contact Legislator Ellen Birnbaum about getting a radar speed sign installed to make drivers more conscious of their velocity.
“I can call the Sixth Precinct and ask them for more presence, and I can also call the police commissioner and see if he can help with this issue,” Bral said. “This has gone long enough that it really needs to be addressed to the highest person in command. I’m sure he’s going to take this matter very seriously.”
Bazmeh Davoudian Liviem and David Reed, who live in houses on the intersection and one house down respectively, brought their concerns before the board at its Sept. 17 meeting.
“We’ve seen quite a lot of horrific accidents as of late at that intersection,” Davoudian Liviem, who has lived next to the intersection for around four years, said. “We would like to see something more done.”
Davoudian Liviem said the intersection has seen several serious collisions since she began informally keeping track in May, and one car had even hit the house at 23 Hicks Lane before she became a tenant in the building.
“As a mom, every year I go out to the bus drivers and I ask them to please pick up and drop off my children at my driveway in the back, because I’m afraid,” she said. “I’ve seen too much, we’ve seen too much speeding.”
Reed gestured to a photo of the intersection the two provided to expand on the most recent accident that occurred just a couple days before, when an SUV smashed into a row of bushes on the corner.
Those bushes are not compliant with village code that states they can be a maximum of three feet high and must be 30 feet back from the street corner, Department of Public Works Superintendent Louis Massaro said, but Davoudian Liviem said the accidents have more to do with drivers speeding on their way down to Middle Neck Road than any sight issues the bushes may cause.
“My suspicion is that people are racing to make that green light on Middle Neck Road,” Davoudian Liviem said as one of her neighbors in the audience voiced their agreement.
Massaro added he feels the village has done as much as can possibly be done to make the intersection safer, but can’t control the mistakes made by drivers.
“It’s human behavior, everybody is on their phone, they’re not paying attention,” Massaro said. “This intersection has 30-inch stop signs at each one of those four intersections. There’s nothing more that you could really do but sit a police officer there and have them write tickets. It’s a policing issue. The traffic-control devices are in place.”