Sea Cliff residents appeared to be concerned about the same issue at the village’s public meeting on Aug. 14 — Cliff Way — a road that leads to Sea Cliff Beach. Nassau County Department of Public Works recommended that the village make it one-way year-round to reduce traffic congestion, but many residents who spoke opposed the plan.
“Making it one-way adversely affects residents who live on Prospect Avenue, Foster Place and Cliff Way,” Robert Vogt, of Sea Cliff, said. “I’ve been there for 40 years, so I guess I’ve gotten used to it. However, it certainly builds more traffic.”
Vogt also said that an advantage to making Cliff Way one-way is that it would stop people from driving up the hilly
road, which Vogt described as hazardous.
Maureen Murphy, who has lived in the village for 50 years, explained that Cliff Way was much quieter decades ago. She said she believes that because of improvements to Sea Cliff Beach, the Sea Cliff Yacht Club and programs for children, the street has become a great deal busier.
“I think it’s important to evaluate that policy in light of tremendous increases in traffic,” Murphy said. “In one way, we are victims of our own success. Given the choice, I prefer to see [Cliff Way] two ways, but I certainly understand that the increase in traffic suggests that we need to think about what those demands are.”
Traditionally, the village has turned Cliff Way into a one-way street during the summer to limit traffic congestion. However, concerns about Cliff Way were first brought to the attention of the board in 2015.
“We had tremendous problems on the boulevard and Cliff Way,” said Sea Cliff Village Administrator Bruce Kennedy, who was the mayor then. “We had speeding, we had kids hanging out on the street, we had drug dealing, and we had drag racing on a daily basis.”
Kennedy said that the village contacted Nassau County police and the DPW for help with this issue. “Police presence was increased tenfold. We installed cameras, and we immediately discouraged people to be here,” Kennedy said. Many of those problems have since disappeared, he said, but it would “behoove” the village board to consider the DPW’s recommendation and not just disregard it.
“We still want the road repaved and restriped by the county as well,” Kennedy said. “The board is doing their due diligence by considering the county’s recommendation and getting feedback from its residents.”
Harvey Bass, another village resident, said that pedestrians are more inclined to occupy the street when there is one-way traffic in the summer. “From my observations, I’ve seen a lot of close calls with pedestrians near the crosswalk as people were driving down Cliff Way,” Bass said. “I think we’ve created a number of hazards, so for that reason alone, I think we should reconsider this.”
Althea MacDonald, who has lived on Foster Place for 24 years, said the recommendation would be unfair for people who live on Cliff Way. “For 12 months out of the year, they would have to drive all the way down on the boulevard and all the way to Albin Street, which is in Glen Cove, in order to come back into their village,” MacDonald explained. “We want to make sure that all of our questions and concerns are heard by the village before taking any action on this.”
Trustee Dina Epstein, who is also a member of the village’s Traffic and Safety Committee, said the group has discussed Cliff Way, and members agree with the DPW’s recommendation. Epstein, along with Mayor Ed Lieberman, said that the village board has not taken a position on whether Cliff Way should be one-way.
“We still want to hear from our residents and get as much information as we can,” Epstein said. “We will continue considering this until we come to some sort of conclusion.”
“That’s why we’re here,” Lieberman added.