Dept. of Motor Vehicle Testing is a Hazard to Our Health - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2000 Juniper Berry Magazine

Dept. of Motor Vehicle Testing is a Hazard to Our Health

DMV applicants lined up right next to the parked cars during soccer tournament

We continue to have problems with the DMV testing on Juniper Boulevard North in Middle Village. The site is adjacent to Juniper Valley Park and has been the test area for well over thirty years.

I had a very unpleasant and dangerous experience with the testing on October 27th and it was reported in many of the newspapers.

By way of background for those of you who are not familiar with the problem, one of the DMV employees threatened to have me retested because I asked him his name after a near accident experience on one of the testing streets. I subsequently filed a police report on the incident and Robert Holden, whom I called, also filed a police report because the DMV employee also stated that Holden "may very well be retested too."

When hearing of the incident Acting DMV Commissioner, Kenneth Ringler, Jr. called both Bob Holden and me to apologize for the actions of the DMV employee and to report that the employee had been reassigned pending investigation by the department.

Since that time we have met with the DMV at their College Point headquarters. The result of that meeting, attended by Robert Holden and me, is that the DMV is apologetic for the actions of their employees and will make every effort to cooperate with the community. It was also agreed that we will research alternate sites for the testing since the development of Juniper Valley Park into a 55 acre sporting complex makes future problems almost inevitable.

On November 24 the inevitable occurred. The Department of Parks scheduled a soccer tournament for young children on the lower ballfields in Juniper Valley Park and thousands of people attended. This was a scheduled date for the automobile testing so we had cars parked at curbside for the soccer tournament and DMV applicants lined up right next to the parked cars, motors running throughout the day.

Pictures in this publication give you an idea of the chaos the neighborhood endured on that particular day. What you don't see in the pictures are the youngsters and their parents trying to navigate the local streets to get to the playing area. It was an awesome sight and we are very grateful that no one was hit by any of the testing cars.

Of course this is just one incident of many we have experienced with the DMV. While we are heartened by the fact that they are anxious to cooperate with the community we feel it is not wise to continue the testing at this park site. It is dangerous and, in our judgment, courting disaster.

There is little room for compromise here because of the volatile nature of the problem. We will work very hard with our elected officials and the DMV to find an alternate testing area.