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Letter: Traffic Response

Letter to Diane T. O’Donnell, Traffic Technician Town of North Hempstead Department of Public Works.

Wow!  It looks like something will happen soon to remedy the backups at Manhasset Avenue and Plandome Road. I read in Manhasset Press that Manhasset Avenue would be widened and a dedicated right hand lane created. Wait! Did it really say RIGHT hand lane? Doing this will help a little, but it will not solve the major problem. The reason the backup is created is that the traffic has to wait for the LEFT turners.  They in turn have to wait for the traffic crossing Plandome Road going west.  

But I am happy that something will be done. Here is how it will work out: Imagine you are driving east on Manhasset Avenue approaching Plandome Road with the intention of crossing Plandome Road. Since you are not turning right onto Plandome Road, you must stay in the left lane along with the left turners. You are blocked by the left turners, so what do you do? The answer is clear: you move to the right hand lane (illegally, of course, and blocking the right turners). The bottom line is that the people will decide how the lanes are to be used; the left turners will use the left lane and the right turners and those crossing Plandome Road will use the right lane. But this can more easily be achieved, without causing people to violate the law, by making the left lane dedicated for left turns.

But wait! How much did it cost to have this study done? $96,000? I came up with the right solution 8 months ago.  For free. What exactly did we get for our $96,000?

One more point. The article says that this may be fixed by the upcoming school year. Does this mean before school starts?  I don’t see how that could happen.

Second issue: the saga of the left turn from southbound East Shore Road onto Bayview Avenue. I hope we don’t have to wait for all traffic problems in the area to be solved before we put one NO TURN ON RED sign for the northbound traffic on East Shore Road turning right onto Bayview Avenue. Another lesson in reality now. This is what actually happens as experienced by the southbound, left turning traffic. After waiting for 15 to 20 minutes to get to the intersection, I actually get into the left turn lane. The left turn arrow turns green. One or two cars move out into the intersection, but can’t get onto Bayview Avenue because it is filled with cars (from the right turning northbound cars). Sometimes this one or two cars is the only traffic that manages to get through the green arrow. Usually what happens though is that a few more cars move into the intersection after the green arrow goes out, blocking the northbound traffic. The blocked traffic has no choice but to let them continue turning, even though the northbound traffic now has right of way. In the best case scenario (best at least for the left turners), perhaps 5 or 6 cars will manage to get through. In the meantime, the northbound right turning traffic can turn at will, whether their light is red or green. The solution is obvious: Put up a NO TURN ON RED sign to restrict the northbound right turners.

The current situation has caused people to skirt the problem. They go south along the right hand lane of East Shore Road and then to cut into the left turn lane when close to the left turn. If there hasn’t been an accident there or a road rage incident there, then I predict there will be. I, and others, have found another solution which works rather well. I’m not sure about its legality however, but people will do what they have to do. Continue south on East Shore Road past Bayview Avenue and then make a U turn. Then turn right. What happens when more and more people discover this expedient?

Hope things all work out amicably for all.

Charles Weber

20 year resident of Manhasset