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Feeling snubbed in Manhattan Beach • Brooklyn Paper

Feeling snubbed in Manhattan Beach

So much for a powwow.

The president of Manhattan Beach’s oldest civic group says that the city has left its important voice out of crucial traffic safety negotiations — and the plan bureaucrats have worked out with the rival Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association isn’t nearly enough.

“So far, they’ve only given us crumbs,” said Ira Zalcman, president of the Manhattan Beach Community Group, who claimed he and his group have been locked out of meetings with the city that were supposed to bring the two battling civics together for the first time. “The city hasn’t been in touch with us at all.”

Zalcman said he is frustrated that the city has made no mention of safety recommendations that he deems important, including removing the zebra stripes from Oriental Boulevard and installing a traffic light and signs at the intersection of Falmouth Street and Oriental Boulevard, where four-year-old Evan Svirsky was struck and killed by a bus in October.

But Neighborhood Association representatives said its traffic summit with Brooklyn transportation commissioner Joseph Palmieri on Jan. 28 was a success.

“I think he’ll consider our most important proposals — the evidence of that is he’s willing to come meet with us,” said Alan Ditchek.

At the meeting, Palmieri promised to visit Manhattan Beach on a busy weekday to witness the neighborhood’s car chaos firsthand, according to Dweck.

That’s not enough, said Zalcman, who thinks the commissioner is merely leading his rivals on.

“We’ve had traffic study, after traffic study,” Zalcman said. “We have already been studied to death.”

What he would prefer is action, and the city is already moving forward with some plans it hopes will make the neighborhood safer.

Recent initiatives in the accident-prone hood include the installation of three stop signs at both the Shore and Oriental boulevard entrances to Kingsborough Community College and the yanking of the Oriental Boulevard planters that locals claimed impeded drivers’ vision. The city will also prohibit cars from parking in areas closest to intersections along Oriental Boulevard and will place a speed hump on Oxford Street between Shore and Oriental boulevards this spring.

And according to the city, Zalcman’s group will get facetime with Palmieri.

City spokeswoman Evelyn Erskine told the Courier that the commissioner will schedule a meeting with the Community Group in the near future,

But Zalcman said that meeting should have already occurred.

“I was available to attend that Jan. 28 meeting,” he said.

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