Long Island heeds warning to stay off icy roads

February 2, 2011 9:24:38 AM PST
Long Island motorists appear to be heeding warnings to stay off icy roads.

Authorities say traffic is light to moderate and few fender benders have been reported.

The state Department of Transportation had extra workers out overnight pounding roads with salt. It advises travelers to exercise caution through the morning rush. Up to three-quarters of an inch of ice is expected.

More than 500 Long Island schools or organizations have closed or issued delayed openings.

The LIRR is running on a weekend schedule. There is no service to Hunterspoint Avenue and Long Island City. NYC Transit is honoring LIRR tickets for the No. 7 train at Woodside.

The railroad has fitted its trains with a "record amount" of ice scraper shoes that remove ice from the third rail.

Meanwhile, snow piles were being blamed for traffic accidents and injuries.

Alice Duran says driving makes her nervous because she is forced to navigate around enormous mountains of snow. She says pulling out into traffic is a challenge.

"You have to ease up real slowly, and make sure the other cars see you as well," she said.

And there's no doubt the piles are proving to be dangerous obstacles. Police say one mound contributed to a crash on County Road 101 and Dunton Avenue. The 20-year-old driver of a Nissan slammed into a Toyota because he couldn't see over the snow.

It's a problem for motorists all over Long Island towns and villages as the roadways are plowed, but the mounds of snow add up.

Officials say there's simply no place to put it all.

Liz Pugliese drives for a living, making deliveries, and says she's finding it difficult and dangerous. She advises others to be patient and make sure the coast is clear.

"Just wait until you're clear and you'll get by," she said. "Use your head."

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