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New Bay Terrace exit draws residents’ ire

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Residents of 212th Street in Bayside who live near the Bay Terrace Shopping Center got a chance to voice their anger over recent traffic changes in the area at a Tuesday night meeting of the East Bayside Homeowners Association.

In June the Cord Meyer Development Co., the owners of the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, repositioned an entrance/exit near the mostly residential 212th Street and placed it directly opposite the quiet street at the intersection of 212th Street and 26th Avenue.

The change sparked fears of additional traffic from the shopping center using the residential streets like 210th Place, 211th, 212th and 213th streets to avoid delays on the bigger but more heavily traveled Bell Boulevard and Corporal Kennedy Street.

Ken Ladd, who lives near the intersection of 26th Avenue and 212th Street, also expressed anger at the EBHA meeting this week about a turning lane added to 26th Avenue near the new entrance/exit.

“They did it to promote that new entrance/e­xit,” said Ladd, who told the meeting he has repeatedly seen drivers use the repositioned driveway to “shoot right across 26th Avenue like a bullet” and go down 212th Street.

Barbara Landers, a 212th Street resident who helped gather more than 200 signatures for a petition opposing the new Bay Terrace entrance/exit, also registered her frustration.

“We are now going to be used for an artery to the Bay Terrace Shopping Center,” she said. “We are not ready for the additional traffic, trucks, pollution and noise. We just want it moved back to where it was.”

The entrance/exit was originally placed on 26th Avenue between 211th and 212th Street. The area is divided between Community Board 7 in Flushing and CB 11 in Little Neck, with the boundary lying in the center of 26th Avenue.

At an informational meeting held by CB 7 last month, Cord Meyer reps revealed plans for several big changes for the retail center, including a parking garage with about 220 spaces to be built in the northwestern corner of the property, a reconfiguration and revamping of the center parking lot and the addition of several attendants to help direct traffic.

Cord Meyer rep Peter Galletta said at the meeting the company was also studying the addition of a shuttle bus to take people around the shopping center and eliminate pedestrians crossing the wide parking lot.

EBHA President Frank Skala said last week he planned the Tuesday night meeting to give residents living near 212th Street, south of the shopping center, a chance to be heard. Skala said those residents were ignored at the CB 7 informational meeting.

However, the civic association’s position on the issue was unclear as of press time Tuesday because all non-EBHA members, including reporters, were ejected from the meeting by Skala before the civic took a vote on the matter.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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