On Saturday, July 27, the Dexter Park neighborhood in Chestnut Ridge gathered for a seventh annual picnic in Children’s Park. This picnic was previously held in a Ross Avenue family’s home, and was only attended by families on Ross, but this year the residents of several surrounding streets were invited. “We would really like to bring the neighborhood closer,” said Mei Han who, along with Christine Bailey, hosts the gatherings every year. “It would be a shame if we never got to know our neighbors.”
The neighborhood’s efforts to increase its sense of community are gradually yielding results. Many families expressed that they were looking forward to next year’s picnic. However, the neighborhood remains physically divided by a roadblock on Samuel Road. The road was reportedly closed off my Clarkstown officials to prevent speeding on Newport Drive. Road signs in the area state that the road will be closed until on or about June 15, but no one knows whether that refers to the June 15 that has already passed on June 15 in a future year. The road has been closed for quite some time now, with no signs of change.
This was one common issue discussed at the picnic in Children’s Park. The residents of this neighborhood have questions about why Samuel Rd., of all roads, would be closed, when speeding is just as likely to happen in other places. It is a personal inconvenience, but they were also concerned about safety issues regarding the police and fire departments. These issues have not yet been officially addressed. It was natural that the neighborhood discuss this division while forming and renewing social connections.