John Priest, the chief of the East Meadow Fire Department, agreed that the median could become a hindrance to the department’s ability to respond to emergencies in the future. “The median fencing poses challenges to the department, potentially delaying our response and increasing the risk of member injury,” Priest said. “Our units often use the median to bypass heavy traffic while responding, and operate from the median to keep units and personnel out of harm’s way during accidents and vehicle fires.”
Nikiel, who grew up in Queens, also expressed concerns about the fence’s aesthetic impact on East Meadow. “We have a nice-looking neighborhood here,” he said. “You see Queens Boulevard, and you see the trash that is impacted on the fence on Queens Boulevard, and that’s what we’re afraid is going to happen here.
“You would think, if you’re going to do a project like this,” Nikiel added, “that somebody would at least poll the residents to see what possible impact that something like this would have on the neighborhood.”