Thursday, 18 July 2013 00:00
Thanks to County Executive Mangano the “Walk Safe” program is a great idea. I have seen so many who do not know how to properly cross a main street and no doubt this will save lives.
Beyond that though Hempstead Turnpike is a New York State controlled road, yet the state will do nothing about the unsafe and incorrect timing of the cross walks. It is not possible for a reasonably active person (never mind a mother with children, a person in a wheelchair or a slower person) to cross Hempstead Tpke (clockwise around any
intersection at least in Levittown) even with properly using the crosswalk; yes, it does have a countdown timer but that is only an indication that the cars now have a green light.
Numerous times we have met with state officials including a Department of Transportation (DOT) representative, Senator Kemp Hannon, Assemblyman David McDonough, Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (who actually took up my challenge and saw for himself the problems with the pedestrian crossing) and various Nassau County police officials.
The problem is that traffic that can turn into the crosswalk is released from the red light just as the pedestrian gets to the traffic lane (approximately the middle of the road) and the consequence is that many times the drivers do not respect the pedestrian in the cross walk.
The answer: hold the traffic for the proper amount of time for a person to cross (maybe another 12-15 seconds) whenever the crosswalk is activated. Imagine what it is like when there are two turn lanes for traffic and there is a car between you and one on the outside turn lane and that driver can not see the pedestrian who is properly crossing the street.
The response from the DOT representative is that “we do not want to anger the drivers.”
Oh yeah, not angering drivers for a few seconds is more important than the safety of pedestrians. With the Red Light Cameras, if the traffic light stayed red, any driver who is threatening a pedestrian would at least be caught on camera.
This is a lawsuit waiting to happen as this has been documented going on for multiple years.
Tom Caro, vice president of Levittown Property Owners Association (LPOA)