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Goldstein and Bashner

State’s New Efforts to Improve Safety of Hempstead Turnpike—Is It Enough?

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We have written several articles and blogs here about the many accidents and deaths that make Hempstead Turnpike the deadliest road for pedestrians in the tri-state area. As residents on Hempstead Turnpike—our Nassau County office is located right on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, across from Eisenhower Park—we have seen first-hand the dangers of this wide, busy road that winds its way through the residential downtowns of Elmont, Franklin Square and Hempstead Village and the commercial hubs of East Meadow, Levittown, Wantagh and Farmingdale.  

We are pleased to see that, beginning this week, work will begin on a number of the very issues that make this road so dangerous. In an effort to help with issues of speeding, jaywalking and pedestrians who are unable to cross the wide street in time to avoid ongoing traffic, the following changes are being made:

  • New traffic-signal timing at night to slow traffic down
  • addition of eight raised medians in the road’s center to provide safety for pedestrians who don’t have time to cross the entire road
  • Erecting fencing along the median between Carmen Avenue and Franklin Avenue in East Meadow to discourage mid-block crossing
  • Relocating some bus stops so they are closer to crosswalks
  • The addition of five new crosswalks and one new traffic signal
  • Adding countdown clocks and pedestrian crossing buttons at some intersections.

 These fixes will help hopefully prevent some accidents along Hempstead Turnpike. It is good to see the Transportation Department looking at this road as a whole and making changes throughout its 16 miles. If these prove successful, they can hopefully take a look at making some other Long Island roads safer, including Sunrise Highway, Middle Country Road and Merrick Road.

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