Press Release - 08-13-2020

New York State News

Thursday, August 13, 2020



Projects Upgraded Crosswalks and Added New Wheelchair Accessible Ramps, New Traffic Signals and Signs across Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Improvements Further Goals of Governor's Groundbreaking Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a pair of projects that enhance pedestrian safety and improved accessibility at crosswalks and intersections across Long Island. The completed projects include the first phase of Governor Cuomo's groundbreaking Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which upgraded 225 uncontrolled crosswalk locations, created nearly two-dozen additional crosswalks, and added new traffic signals and signs at various locations in Nassau and Suffolk counties. A second safety project installed 292 wheelchair accessible ramps for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, added new crosswalks at 10 additional intersections, and installed new crosswalk buttons and pedestrian signals at another 39 sites.

"These enhancements, which are part of the first phase of our Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, are helping to create safer, more walkable communities across Long Island," Governor Cuomo said. "By making these significant investments we are supporting the growth of eco-friendly transit, increasing safety and accessibility, and improving quality of life for Long Islanders."

The $6.1 million first phase of the PSAP initiative for Long Island included 60 audible pedestrian signals added along Hempstead Turnpike (Route 24) in Nassau County and signal upgrades at six locations along Montauk Highway (Route 27) in the community of Bridgehampton.

Near Amityville High School on Merrick Road (Route 27A), a new traffic signal was also installed and an existing crosswalk at Riverside Avenue, just west of the high school, was enhanced with signs and high visibility pavement markings. Additionally, two pedestrian-actuated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons were installed at existing crosswalks near the Fairfield Elementary School on Hicksville Road (Route 107) in Massapequa to assist crossing guards.

The second, $3.3 million pedestrian safety project installed wheelchair accessible ramps and other enhancements at 39 locations, including various segments of:

  • Route 27 (Sunrise Highway) in Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay;
  • Route 25 (Jericho Turnpike) in Towns of Oyster Bay and Smithtown;
  • Route 25A (Main Street/Fort Salonga Road) in the Town of Huntington;
  • Route 24 (Hempstead Turnpike/Conklin Street/Flanders Road) in the Towns of Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Babylon, and Southampton; and
  • Sunrise Highway North and South Service Roads in the Town of Islip.

The PSAP enhancements were funded through the Governor's five-year $110 million New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which calls for a systemic approach to proactively address safety issues and minimize the potential for crashes through the "three E's" - engineering, enforcement and education. The plan targets improvements in communities outside of New York City. The city has an established pedestrian safety program that receives federal funding from NYSDOT.

According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, statewide pedestrian fatalities fell from 316 in 2015 to 281 in 2019. On Long Island, fatalities during this time period fell from 89 to 60.

DOT engages in pedestrian safety site evaluations identifying cost-effective upgrades that greatly improve safety for pedestrians. Upgrades include the installation of high visibility crosswalk markings and additional signs, as well as signalization enhancements, such as extended crossing times, countdown timers that tell pedestrians how many seconds they have to cross the street, and leading pedestrian intervals that help make pedestrians more visible to motorists by giving them a head start before traffic can turn onto the street.

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Safety is always the top priority of the Department of Transportation and these projects help make our roads more accommodating to walkers, bikers and motorists alike. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State continues to make smart investments that enhance access, safety and mobility for all New Yorkers, creating a transportation network that benefits everyone."

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Upgrading pedestrian safety measures encourages New Yorkers to use our roads responsibly and helps create greener, healthier communities. These efforts are another example of New York's commitment to Health Across All Policies, an initiative to embed health improvement goals at every level of state government and to being an Age Friendly State."

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "The completion of these important safety and accessibility enhancements will make a significant difference for residents who rely on public transportation, and those with disabilities. I thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to pedestrian safety and accessibility, which has made Long Island safer, and an even better place to live, work, and play."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "These enhancements are critical in densely populated regions like Long Island where pedestrian-friendly streets are key to the growth of our vibrant and walkable downtowns. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the continued need to invest in Long Island's infrastructure as we work to build a 21st century transportation network across Suffolk County."

Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "Governor Cuomo's commitment to better our communities through strategic infrastructure investments is evident in the unprecedented Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Unlike any project before, this plan takes a coordinated approach to bring real, impactful upgrades to neighborhoods across the state, and the GTSC is proud to assist with educational campaigns and law enforcement training to help reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Here on Long Island, these improvements will go a long way to enhance the safety and accessibility for all who use these roadways."

Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones. Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual's driver license.

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