Featured Letter: Still a hazard on Route 58

03/12/2015 6:00 AM |
Forty businesses were cited last month for failing to clear their sidewalks. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Forty businesses were cited last month for failing to clear their sidewalks. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

To the editor:

Thank you for the stories you wrote about the snow safety hazards along Route 58. I worry about my life and safety every time I need to go to the bus stop.

I was very surprised that, after property owners were fined for not shoveling the snow on the sidewalks and after the recent snowfall, the sidewalks are in worse shape and more dangerous than they were before. 

When I came to Riverhead this weekend, two days after the latest snowfall, the bus did not drop off passengers at the shelter because the sidewalks were not cleared and very dangerous.

Perhaps the fines for breaking the law are not high enough? Or perhaps the town leaders are not doing all they can to protect Riverhead citizens and visitors from safety hazards?

I learned from your recent article that the code enforcement office at Town Hall is understaffed. It seems to me that if code enforcement focused on snow violations for a few more days, Riverhead would bring in enough financial resources to fund at least one more code enforcement officer position. I wonder why, if these positions could basically pay for themselves, Riverhead doesn’t hire more enforcement officers?

Is the Town Board intentionally keeping the office understaffed because they don’t want to fine their commercial property owner friends for breaking the law?

If the town doesn’t want to fine the commercial property owners for breaking the law, why don’t they plow the sidewalks then bill the property owners for the service? Or form a business improvement district for Route 58. The BID can charge property owners for maintaining clean and snow-free sidewalks throughout the season.

Bob Johnson, Queens

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