A group of Jericho residents fed up with speed camera violations will stage an airing of grievances with local elected officials at the end of the month.
The town hall meeting, to be held at Cantiague Elementary School. 678 Cantiague Rock Rd. in Jericho, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, is set to attract Legislator Judy Jacobs, Assemblyman Charles Lavine and Hon. John Marks, who all committed to attending. County Executive Ed Mangano was invited, but is not expected to attend.
According to residents in the area, the main gripe is that a lack of proper signage makes traversing the Cantiague Elementary school zone confusing and has them feeling that they are merely a source of revenue for the county. Residents believe the County was driven by the need for revenue and was so anxious to roll out the cameras that functionality and signage were not a high priority.
In August, Mangano dismissed all speed zone violations as the cameras were improperly doling out tickets even though schools were not in session.
“The community was not told there was a speed camera there. People only found out when they started getting fines,” said Ellen Meister. “The area is mismarked; the town insists that the speed zone is well marked despite the erroneous 30 mph sign, because the road itself has been painted to read 25 mph. However, that’s not readable when there are cars on the road.”
She said residents feel there is no safety issue on that stretch of road near the school, as any children leaving or entering the school on foot would do so on the opposite side on Niagara Drive. She said the only sign warning of camera enforcement is positioned south of Saratoga Drive. That means anyone heading north on Cantiague Rock Road from the development of West Birchwood will not pass that sign.
That is the source of community anger, said West Birchwood resident Sharon Klein, who has amassed eight violations at $80 a pop.
“When we exit West Birchwood there are no signs. You would have no idea there is a camera there,” said Klein. “I put three kids through that elementary school, I’ve driven down that road a zillion times and I am not a speed demon.”
Klein also said the most ludicrous thing about the camera placement is that children attending that school do not walk that stretch of road.
“There is a gate on Niagara Drive. If the kids are walking, that is where they are walking,” she said. “I would like the cameras taken down, but realistically, I know they make too much money. I would like to see violations dismissed until the proper signage is in place.”
As for the town hall meeting scheduled for Oct. 30, Klein said she is looking forward to having her say, but doesn’t expect much in the way of progress with elected officials.
“Politicians like to play this game called ‘pass the buck,’” she said. “They say they are sick and tired of it and they want it fixed, but nothing will happen. That’s the lovely political system we have in Nassau County. But guess what — you want my vote, well you just lost it.”