The Police Commission’s Obsession With Queen Street

To the Editor:

The Newtown Bee reported last week that Queen Street residents have long complained about speeding motorists. Now with three speed bumps added to the two already installed, Queen Street residents have a new issue to complain about, noise caused by the speed bumps and motorists going over them, a few beeping their horns. One resident complained that the children are stressed by the sound of honking horns. Another resident said it was unclear why some people are angry about the presence of speed table. Yet another said divers were being un-neighborly and unkind.

What astonishes me, beyond the attitude of Queen Street residents that only they and their street matters, is the obsession the Police Commission and its Chairman Paul Mangiafico have with Queen Street.  This obsession with Queen Street has, over the years, already cost the taxpayers approximately $140,000 in consultants fees and studies, excessive police monitoring costs, public works activities, and of course the infamous cost, installation and removal of temporary speed bumps and then installation of five permanent speed bumps. Last week one resident, Michael Floros, told the Police Commission that the speed bumps have tremendously slowed traffic and now he wants sidewalks installed.  That’s another $300,000 for sidewalks (That is the amount the BOS estimated they would cost and had in the Capital Improvement Plan).  Mind you Newtown residents have been waiting for the completion of the Borough sidewalk loop for 25 years.

That’s not all; the chairman of the Police Commission Paul Mangiafico authorized and encouraged the residents to copy down license plate numbers of motorists who beep their horn. He told them he would send a police officer to visit the motorists home to discuss the matter. I wonder what that costs?

There seems to be no end to the special privileges bestowed on the politically connected residents of Queen Street and no reluctance by the residents to demand special attention.  What’s next a “residents only” sign?

Bruce Walczak

12 Glover Avenue, Newtown                        August 14, 2013

More stories like this: Police Commission, traffic, Queen Street, speed bumps


Just a thought

I've been wondering if there even was a speeding problem on Queen Street. A family member of mine grew up in Trumbull and told me a story form their past. An old man used to live on a popular cut-through, and he thought everybody was speeding, so he complained to the police. Instead of taking his word for it, they sent an officer to his house with a radar gun. When a car drove by, the officer would check the vehicle's speed, and ask the old man how fast the car was going. The old man thought that everybody was going 10mph over the speed limit, but the radar gun said otherwise. The officer did this numerous times, and the old man was wrong every single time. They should have tried this with whoever is complaining before immediately building the speed tables.

Honk if you hate small town corruption

If everybody honks, one at each bump, day or night, rain or shine, those bumps will mysteriously disappear. If we accept them, they are there for good, so lean on your horn. Old fashioned yankee stubbornness beats out small town corruption. Do your part.

Queen Street is not a private road!

I must admit I am angry every time I drive on Queen Street but I have not honked my horn. Those five speed bumps symbolizes small town politics. It is time to remove the speed bumps on Queen Street or the town must install five speed bumps on every Newtown street with speeding issues.

Better Use Of Police Department's Time

I have to agree with Mr. Walczak in his assessment of the Queen Street debacle. I live on Currituck Rd. and daily witness drivers going well over the speed limit of 35 MPH and many are on their cell phones. Currituck has become a high speed cut-through with the added feature of drivers who apparently don't have a problem mixing speed with cellphones and texting. In the past few weeks I have made a point of counting drivers breaking the law and it numbers well over 20 drivers (that I have actually witnessed), several of whom were distractedly driving in the wrong lane, to make matters even more toxic.

My point is this: if I, as a Newtown resident, am able to track dangerous behavior on not just Currituck, but Main Street, Church Hill, side roads, you name it, you would think that our police department could do likewise. To worry about drivers honking on Queen Street is a bit absurd when you have potential tragedies waiting to happen each and every day on Newtown roads.

Please prioritize the needs of the townspeople and understand that EVERY road is dangerous if dangerous activity is allowed to go unnoticed.

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