Town to fix glass damage at Flanders, Riverside bus shelters

08/13/2012 2:00 PM |

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Town workers clean up shattered glass at a bus shelter in Riverside.

Weeks after vandals busted glass panes on bus shelters in Flanders and Riverside, causing thousands of dollars in damages, all of the remaining glass is being cleaned up.

The shelters will be repaired once necessary supplies can be ordered, Southampton Town officials said Monday.

About three weeks ago, an unknown person or people shattered the glass at the bus shelter near the Head Start center on Flanders Road in Riverside, said the town’s director of transportation and public safety, Thomas Neely.

The town ran yellow caution tape around the shelter and later swept up the glass after being notified by a concerned resident, Mr. Neely said.

But about 10 days ago, after the first instance of broken glass had been cleaned, the shelter was targeted again and had the remaining panes of safety glass shattered.

Around the same time, a shelter near the Crohan Community Center on Flanders Road in Flanders was also damaged when a vandal shattered six of the eight panes of glass in that shelter, Mr. Neely said.

In the past, the shelters have been the target of some graffiti, but this is only the second time Mr. Neely can remember someone destroying glass, he said.

“This is pretty close to unprecedented,” he said.

Last weekend, the glass around the Flanders bus stop was cleared away, but glass still remained at the shelter in Riverside as of Sunday, a situation one civic leader called unacceptable.

Brad Bender, president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, said the shattered glass on the ground in Riverside should have been cleared away much sooner.

“My problem is that when something like this happens I think there’s an obligation by whatever entity in the town to keep our community safe,” Mr. Bender said. “What kind of reflection is this on our town when we can’t even get somebody out there to clean up this glass?”

A town crew was removing the remaining panes of glass in that shelter Monday afternoon after town officials decided the repairs would take too long to leave the bits of glass around.

Mr. Neely said that the shelters had not been repaired yet because the town had to order special safety glass. The safety glass, unlike normal panes, shatters into small cubes instead of sharp edges.

“It is special order safety glass, it’s not something they just have sitting in the shop,” Mr. Neely said.

The orders were made after the first vandalism incident three weeks ago, but had to be updated when the shelters were damaged again. Mr. Neely said the shipment takes about two to three weeks to arrive, and said he expects to have the shelters fully repaired once the glass is delivered.

Mr. Bender said he notified town officials weeks ago, and was frustrated when days later, glass still littered the bus stops, adding that he believes the town would have acted quicker if the bus shelters that were damaged were in a more affluent area.

“A little bit of caution tape didn’t cut it for me,” he said. “I understand that it takes time to get complicated things finished or completed or moved forward. But I just don’t get it when the simple things just sit … this should have been taken care of within one business day.”

psquire@timesreview.com