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E. Bayside nabes pass on sound wall

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But despite Skala's emotive demonstration at the East Bayside Homeowners Association meeting Tuesday night, members decided against voting on looking into building a sound barrier along the expressway between Northern Boulevard and 35th Avenue, due to lack of participation from affected homeowners.Skala brought the issue to the civic's attention after he was informed by state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) that several residents living near the Clearview Expressway had signed a petition asking for the installation of a sound barrier wall. These Clearview residents cited not only the noise from the traffic on the expressway, but also from cars bumping over water basin depressions on the service roads, Padavan said."The denizens of this community have a longstanding problem with the noise that emanates from road traffic due to the catch basin depressions on both the north and south bound lanes of the Clearview Expressway," Padavan wrote in a letter to state Department of Transportation Regional Director Douglas Currey. He asked the state to repair the water main bumps and also conduct a study into the possibility of building a noise barrier along both sides of the expressway service roads."The noise is incredible," Skala said to the 35 people present at Tuesday's meeting. "It's like living in an airport."EBHA members decided to table a proposal to support or oppose the construction of a noise barrier wall because only one expressway homeowner came to the meeting despite Skala's dissemination of informational fliers to over 50 residents who live in the affected area.Kenneth Tokar, who has lived in his house on the Clearview service road at 35th Avenue for 25 years, said he would support the construction of a noise barrier."The noise has gotten worse" over the years, Tokar said. "I put in insulated windows, but it's not getting any better."Some Baysiders cited concerns that traffic visibility would be impaired with the construction of a 20- or 30-foot tall noise barrier."I'm concerned that you have this tremendous wall," said EBHA member Andy Rothman. "People making turns, if the wall is here, it would block traffic." He pointed out the traffic at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and the Clearview Expressway was already difficult to navigate without the possibility of diminishing sight lines with a noise barrier.Skala, who is president of the association, acknowledged that other quality-of-life issues like funding, the inconvenience of construction and aesthetics would have to be considered in building what he called "the Great Wall of Bayside.""You could block a lot of the noise, but your view would also be blocked. Hundreds of trees would have to come down," Skala said. "And once the wall is in place, it's the perfect artist place" for aspiring graffitists. "It's a two-edged sword," he added. "If they're going to spend the money, it has to be better than before."Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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