The city-installed planters on Oriental Boulevard that residents claim have been impeding drivers’ vision since 2005 were hauled away to the Kingsborough Community College campus on Nov. 24 in a victory for Manhattan Beach residents who have been trying to convince the Parks Department to remove the 31 behemoths.
“We’re very relieved and grateful,” said Edmond Dweck, a spokesman for the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association. “This is a small step in the right direction to bring safety to the streets of Manhattan Beach.”
Officials at Kingsborough, which has a 71 acre campus at the end of the boulevard, offered to take the planters away in 2008, but the Parks Department refused to allow it, saying that the planters were not an obstruction.
The city finally changed its tune last month after 4-year-old Evan Svirsky was struck and killed by a bus on the strip — the third Manhattan Beach fatality in the past two years.
But to some, the move was not enough to solve the problem caused by the city’s traffic calming measures in the area.
“The city has done all the wrong things when it comes to traffic in Manhattan Beach,” said Alan Ditchek, president of the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association, at a meeting last month.
To that end, members from Manhattan Beach’s two civic associations, the Manhattan Beach Civic Group and the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Assocaition, will meet with Joseph Palmieri, the Brooklyn commissioner for the Department of Transportation, sometime this month with a proposal for how to prevent future accidents in the neighborhood, according to Dweck.
The proposal includes measures like additional police patrol to crack down on speeding and the installation of more stop lights on Shore Road between West End Avenue and Oxford Street, which has only three. The closed-door meeting will be the first time that the feuding Manhattan Beach Civic Group and Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association stand united on an issue.