Resident Abused By School Parkers – Says promises to help were made and broken

Resident Abused By School Parkers – Says promises to help were made and broken

Anthony Shillitani says he just can’t take it anymore. The street he lives on, 109th Street between Rockaway Boulevard and 109th Avenue, is a nightmare of congestion and illegal parking.  He can’t come home to his own driveway because invariably someone blocking it—without fail he says it’s someone, most likely a parent, from the Vincent Fowler School down the street.

Anthony Shillitani in front of his driveway where the vehicle of a parent completely blocks his driveway.

Shillitani is not alone in his dilemma. Residents in communities in every neighborhood who live near public schools continued to be plagued with the problems brought on by excessive traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, as well as busses that the school population brings with it.

It is more than three years since he says he first went to the office of Senator Joe Addabbo for help. Following the visit with the senator, he received a note in March of 2009 signed off on by Addabbo and announcing that the street, 109th between Rockaway and 109th Avenue would be subject to closure twice a day for roughly an hour to alleviate the problems fueling Shillitani’s complaints. The letter promised that the only ones who would have access to the street during the time periods specified would be school busses and residents. The letter also said that the senator had contacted all necessary parties in the matter including the school’s principal, the 106th Precinct and the DOT. It said the changes would take place sometime in April of 2009.

Double parked busses blocked from their spots at the curb make passage for vehicles impossible.

And Shillitani says that all the promises in the letter started out “like a house on fire.” Traffic agents made their way to the street issuing summonses for double parked cars and blocking his private driveway. “I was really hopeful that the abuse was at an end.”

Within a week, however, all signs of closing the street had vanished. The principal, Ms. Biondollilo pulled her personnel in off the street leaving no one to man the posts, forcing the street to remain open.

Since then, just over four years ago, the street has remained open and his pleas for help, whether to the school’s principal or to the senator’s office have been left unanswered.

“I went back to Mr. Addabbo’s office in early February this year. I sat with the senator and refreshed his memory.” According to Shillitani, Addabbo said he recalled the problem and said “we can’t allow a problem like this to continue.”

But the frustrated resident says the senator’s promises to act on it and get back to him have not been met. “His office said he’d get back to me on Friday. It’s been two months of Friday’s since and still there is no word.”

As far as conditions on the street, they are getting much worse according to the homeowner. “The other day I came home and found both my garbage pails off my property and down the street. They had been destroyed by a car that ran over them in order to park in my driveway.”

When The Forum contacted Sen. Addabbo last week, he said he planned on revisiting the situation with the 106 and DOT. “We’re talking about maybe 40 minutes twice a day, five days a week that a street would need to be closed ,” Addabbo said –“ that’s a short amount of time. I believe something can be done.”

But for Anthony Shillitani seeing is believing and according to the very angry resident, “I ain’t seen nothing yet.”



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