Time to clean up the station
To the Editor:
Is it me, or have others also noted the slow and steady decline in the environs of the Rockville Centre railroad station?
It is apparent to even the most passive observer that a group of wayward regulars inhabit the station waiting room, platform and surrounding area. I have great empathy for the homeless and genuine concern for the emotionally impaired. My concern extends to those in need of assistance.
I am also aware of the safety and quality-of-life issues raised by the present condition. It is important to note that the station is in the heart of the village and is the first impression many visitors have of Rockville Centre.
I recognize that the MTA and its police department have the primary jurisdiction to address this matter. Obviously, it has neglected an ongoing and increasingly unsafe and complex issue.
I believe that the village government has a responsibility to act. It is time to prompt the MTA and relevant social service agencies into action. If that effort fails, the current administration must take a leadership role. Safety and law enforcement in the village is the purview of the Rockville Centre Police Department. Quality-of-life crimes are the first indicator of what may be a future increase in more serious crime.
It is unacceptable to allow this situation to escalate and hope that another bureaucracy will act. Increased patrols and a proactive effort to address this problem are overdue.
Crazy to crack down on cabs
To the Editor:
The article “Cracking down on cabs” (Sept. 26-Oct. 2) illustrates the extent to which the current, out-of-control village administration has lost touch with reality. “Cracking” is an appropriate term when it comes to the thought processes on the issue.
My volunteer activities sometimes require me to be in Rockville Centre’s downtown area on weekends between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. Unlike Police Commissioner Charles Gennario, I was extremely gratified to see vehicles from almost every local taxi cab company lined up to provide transportation to the hundreds of patrons of our popular late-night establishments. It appears that Commissioner Gennario would prefer that these under-the-influence individuals stumble their way the 1/4 mile across Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway to reach Mayor Murray’s favorite and exclusive taxi company, All Island Taxi.
Gennario also seems to favor the congregation of a hundred or so inebriated bar patrons, waiting at the taxi stand on Front Street for one of the maybe dozen or so vehicles All Island has available at that hour. Does the word “riot” come to mind? Better yet, perhaps Commissioner Gennario prefers that these individuals get behind the wheel of a car instead of the tiny waiting room All Island provides in cold weather.
I strongly suggest that Commissioner Gennario continue to allow enforcement of the village’s taxi laws to “slip,” at least during the late-night hours on Fridays and Saturdays. To do otherwise will only result in increased police overtime and increasing revenue for the village’s paid ambulance service.
The benefits of a bar patron walking out the front door of a bar and into the back of a taxi is somehow lost on the commissioner. If Gennario is unable to see how public safety would be compromised by this crackdown, perhaps Mayor Murray can demonstrate some leadership and order him to do so before one of our young people is seriously injured. I would rather sacrifice a few “quality of life” hours that have the late-night downtown “resembling Queens” than read about one of our young people being struck and killed on Sunrise Highway.
Perhaps making Park Avenue a no-parking zone during these hours would provide a novel solution to resolve the double parking problem while making it convenient and safe for taxis and designated drivers to pick up under-the-weather individuals. Let’s work with the reality and defer to safety and not police it into an unsafe, dangerous change in policy.