Kids, truckers cause NHP headaches

Andrew Benjamin

New Hyde Park residents expressed concerns about truckers speeding through the village and youngsters misbehaving in Memorial Park and at the New Hyde Park Village Board meeting on Tuesday night.

Anthony Agerenza, who lives on New Hyde Park Road near the New Hyde Park Road School, said he has seen numerous cars exceeding posted the speed limit in the 20 mile-per-hour school zone “every day and night.”

“I’ve actually had garbage pails sucked in by tractor trailers,” he told the board.

He said he has contacted the Nassau County Police Department about the issue but said he has not gotten a satisfactory response.

He claims that one time when he contacted the county police about the speeding, he was told by the officer he spoke with “Why don’t you just move?”.

Agerenza said he offered to put an electronic speed device his driveway for drivers to see how fast they are going, but was turned down.

“They told me they can’t do that,” he said. “I do not know what the next step is.”

The situation has become so dangerous that he doesn’t want his kids to walk on the front lawn, he said.

Village of New Hyde Park Mayor Daniel Petruccio, who expressed shock at the police officer’s response to Agerenza, recommended that Agerenza come to the July 17 meeting, where the county police will be represented.

“If you ever have a conversation with someone like that, get their badge number,” Petruccio told him.

Bruce Hecht, a resident who lives next to Memorial Park, complained about young teens and adults using the park after hours.

“We’ve had a lot of problems with people hanging out there at night,” he told the board. “They don’t belong there. They leave their garbage, they leave their containers, they’re food, they’re wrappers. They shouldn’t be there.” 

Hecht asked if there could be a greater police presence at the park.

“Not only have I asked them to do the loop around on a regular basis, but also asked our own code enforcement officers, if they do see something, please call it in as well,” Thomas Gannon, superintendent of the village Department of Public Works, said. “We’re definitely aware of the situation.”

Petruccio said he has seen the ground littered with “condoms and beer bottles” when he goes to the park.

“I know they were not daytime activities,” he said.

Captain John Concannon of the village auxiliary police, who was on hand to deliver a report, said when he sees people in the park, he puts on the flashing lights and they disperse.

“It is a valid complaint and we’re trying to stop this before it really starts going in the summer,” he said.

Trustee Lawrence Montreuil asked Concannon “if the auxiliary police could copy down a license plate.”

Concannon said he would have to check with the Nassau County Police Department 3rd Precinct if the auxiliary police are allowed to do that. Concannon said the village officers have limited authority to do anything other than observe activities and report suspicious activity to the 3rd Precinct.

“Basically we’re just eyes and ears,” he said.

Steven Sewell, a South 18th Street resident, said trucks and tractor trailers were disregarding the no truck signs on his street and other nearby residential areas.

He said he contacted the police about the issue but received no help from them.

“They will not enforce it because it doesn’t say except local deliveries under that sign,” he told the board.

Petruccio agreed it was a recurring problem.

“This has been a perennial issue with all of those blocks,” he said.

Petruccio said they would inquire with the 3rd Precinct about the issue.

“We’ll start with the precinct then go from there,” he said.

About the author

Andrew Benjamin

Share this Article