A town hall meeting on traffic issues in Port Washington has been scheduled for June 14 at 6:45 p.m. in the Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School Auditorium.
Port Washington Boulevard, which leads to both Schreiber High School and Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School, has been a source of contention since September. School drop-offs and pickups are said to have caused significant traffic, prompting the organization of the meeting.
Representatives from the Port Washington Union Free School District, Board of Education and Police Department, who will be in attendance, are urging the public to attend.
“We’re really hoping for the community to come out and offer their thoughts,” Port Washington Schools Superintendent Michael Hynes said.
Although no one has determined the exact source of the congestion, many possibilities have been proposed. Port Washington Board of Education President Emily Beys and Vice President Julie Epstein shared the district’s ideas.
The two first mentioned school construction that occurred last autumn, forcing alternate routes.
They also suggested school bus routes merging, which resulted in students having longer commutes. Because some students can face a morning bus commute of up to an hour, the two theorized that this led more parents to drive their children to school.
Continuing on school buses, they cited COVID-19 as a deterrent to parents sending their children to school on the bus.
The upcoming meeting came together after Hank Ratner, a Port Washington resident and self-described community activist, saw residents’ complaints online,
“I posted a message saying ‘blah, blah, blah,’ about the traffic and so on and so forth,” he explained. “And I got a ton of replies from people all talking about the terrible situation, and many of whom came up with, I thought, some very viable suggestions and ideas.”
Ratner contacted police and school officials, which resulted in the meeting’s organization.
He has been a resident of Port Washington for over 55 years and says this is one of the most pressing issues the village has ever faced.
“While there have been other issues that have come up that were of great importance, this is certainly one of them,” Ratner said. “It’s really hurting many people, and it’s a major issue.”