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Speeding, wildlife feeding are hot topics in Worth

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

 

A lively exchange of conversation took place during the Worth Village Board meeting on Feb. 21 regarding speeding and feeding the wildlife

Resident Jim Peltzer, who lives near 114th Place and New England Avenue, spoke up during the public comment portion of the meeting with complaints about speeding traffic on his residential street and people continuing to feed the wildlife at the Worth Waterfalls area, in spite of signs reading “Do Not Feed the Wildlife.”

Peltzer stated that he fears for his children and the neighborhood children going to and from a nearby elementary school.

“Some of these drivers reach 60 miles per hour on my street, they ignore the stop signs and many of them are texting” he said.

“I have tried to flag them down to tell them to slow down. I have yelled at them, all to no avail. I am really afraid something bad is going to happen. Something needs to be done,” Peltzer added.

He added that he understood that the police can’t be there all the time.

“But would it be possible to increase the presence of the police for a while?” Peltzer asked.

Mayor Mary Werner also responded with her concerns.

“I see these people speeding on our side streets also, and it boggles my mind,” she said. “It is so frustrating.”

“The sorry thing about this situation is the fact that it is the parents of these kids doing the speeding,” said Trustee Pete Kats. “I see them; they drop their kids off at the school and speed away, texting and driving and not paying attention. The parents need to be educated.”

He also suggested to Peltzer that perhaps the residents could take photos of the license plates of the offenders, which could then be reported to the police department.

Police Chief Mark Micetich stated that he had talked with the school’s service officer and there are plans to include a letter to the parents in the school’s newsletter regarding speeding, texting while driving and parking illegally in the school zone.

Peltzer’s second comment was in regard to the violation of feeding rules at the Worth Water Falls area. He said people are feeding the wildlife, which is clearly prohibited.

“Feeding the ducks and geese creates a hazard to their health and also creates a mess on the grassy area. I was there with my family and we couldn’t even walk on the path,” Peltzer said.

Again, Werner agreed with him.

“I was sitting on a bench there last weekend and families were walking by with large bags of bread to feed the geese, right in front of the huge sign prohibiting the feeding. The bread is harmful to the ducks and geese. We are literally killing the wildlife.”

She said an ordinance is needed to enforce the prohibition, but it would have to come from the MWRD, which owns the property.

“We are working with them to establish an ordinance,” Werner said.

In other business, the board approved two ordinances and a business license pertaining to a retail tobacco store at 10700 S. Harlem, Fattoush Hookah, Inc., owned by Naser Farhan. The ordinances included a special use zoning and a variance to reduce the required number of vehicle parking spaces for the store.

Other action included the swearing in of four police officers: Bryan Brooks, Christian Ferchau, Roberto Frias and Gerard Igoe.