Today’s news:

Line of cars stops traffic on Gold Rd.

Some Howard Beach residents living on a side street of Cross Bay Boulevard said that a nearby car wash is preventing them from getting to their houses and creating dangerously wet sidewalk conditions.

Patricia Rolff, a 34-year resident on Gold Road, said a line of cars forms along the southbound side of Cross Bay Boulevard in front of LMC Car Wash at 135-18 Cross Bay Blvd. and hinders normal traffic patterns. She said she sometimes cannot drive onto Gold Road because its entrance is blocked by the line of cars.

"The car wash has always been a problem," she said in an interview. "It's horrendous. It's terrible."

Rolff and an 81-year-old male neighbor who did not want to be identified, said the line of cars waiting to enter the car wash not only blocks other cars but also prevents pedestrian traffic from getting onto Gold Road.

The unidentified man said elderly people who live on the block have to find another route to their homes because of the cars' positions in front of their street.

Rolff explained that the drivers of the cars do not allow cross traffic or walkers onto Gold Road because they do not want to lose their place in the line to enter the car wash.

"You can also slip because of the soapy water on the sidewalk," Rolff said.

Rolff said the car wash, which has night hours and has been located on Cross Bay Boulevard for nearly 40 years, is source of loud music and car noise that sometimes prevents her from sleeping.

Helder Borges, manager of LMC Car Wash, conceded that cars do prevent access to Gold Road but such incidents only occur infrequently. He said the car wash is busiest on weekends and days following heavy rains.

"That's not every day," he said. "That (the line up) happens only when it is busy."

Borges said LMC has posted a sign that asks patrons to keep noise to a minimum when washing outside between the busy hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Rolff said the car wash is just one of many problems on Gold Road, which she said people use to cut across Cross Bay Boulevard from Linden Boulevard. She said residents on Gold Road confront many traffic problems, including speeding cars and non-residents taking residents' parking spaces.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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