Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 14 August 2009 00:00The unincorporated village of East Norwich has new decorative street signs along its roads, lanes and coves. They are the result of the leadership of the East Norwich Civic Association and their partnership with Legislator Judy Jacobs and the Town of Oyster Bay.
East Norwich Civic Association President Matthew Meng said, “This is an example of good government working for the people for all the right reasons.”
Rob Brusca, ENCA board member added, “It’s a tremendous example of elected officials and dedicated county and town personnel working together for the benefit of the community. We are grateful for all their efforts.”
The street sign project was initially spearheaded by East Norwich resident Sean Rainey, ENCA vice president. With new federal guidelines for street signs, they had to be replaced with reflective signs – that is where Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs became involved – as well as Town Councilman Chris Coschignano and town employees.
Mr. Coschignano said the project did take some time. “Everybody goofed a bit and it took a little longer, but now we know where to go to get the signs,” he said, indicating Horizon Signs the company that fabricated them.
“Luckily I still had money left in the Community Revitalization Fund,” said Ms. Jacobs. “It’s my area. I want to help, so when the East Norwich Civic Association called me I still had the extra money. Then the civic group got involved when we needed extra money for the metal posts and for extra signs.”
“There’s always something that happens, but one mistake out of 150 signs isn’t bad,” said Sean Rainey. The civic association took over that extra cost, too. Actually the sign for Deusenberg Drive was misspelled and one was left out of the count – Peerless Drive.
The civic also put up five new decorative poles in locations in East Norwich: Locust Avenue/Oyster Bay Road, Gabrielle Drive/Old Northern Boulevard, Whitney Avenue/Joseph Lane, Auburn Lane/Sunny Hill Drive, and Rock Ridge Lane/Spilt Rock Road, that previously had a standard galvanized pole.
Mr. Rainey said, “When Bill (William Zura, Jr. TOB DPW sign bureau) got involved he said the signs had to be reflective to meet the new federal guidelines.”
So the old decorative signs could no longer be used and had to be replaced – which was the impetus for the new signs. “Bill and I had put up several samples to test for reflectivity and aesthetic appeal. We started with the old carved decorative signs previously located along Route 106 and Northern Boulevard; and then Bill and the town presented a decorative metal reflective sign, and we met in the middle with a reflective sign that is in PVC and is not carved. Making it both aesthetically appealing and reflective for the drivers. It was a nice compromise and shows that it doesn’t always have to be ugly to work!
“The color was chosen in memory of the Walnut tree that stood in the median of Route 106 at Route 25A for about 225 years and is a symbol of East Norwich. It also offers more contrast to make them easier to read,” said Mr. Rainey.
Judy Jacobs said, “Oyster Bay is already talking to me about having the signs.” She had offered help to the Oyster Bay group when she last met with the two civics at their joint cocktail party at the end of May.
Bob Hurley said the installation work was time-consuming in that they had to drill the metal poles and install rib nuts to hang the signs. They drilled holes through the existing wooden poles to hold the brackets. The East Norwich Civic Association paid for the metal poles that have a pine cone ornament on top.
Mr. Hurley said as to the height of the signs, “We had to worry about the box trucks on the roads so the signs measure about 13 feet high.”
Mr. Rainey said, “I just want to take this opportunity to thank Judy Jacobs and Nassau County for funding this project and the Town of Oyster Bay for supplying the manpower and technical expertise for installing all the signs; and of course the East Norwich Civic Association for supporting this project aimed at improving East Norwich, a wonderful place to live.”
A great many local residents came out to celebrate the new signs and Judy Jacobs said, “It’s amazing to me how such a small project can make a dramatic change in the appearance of the community.”