Advocates call for more pedestrian safety in several Long Island towns

Chanteé Lans Image
Monday, June 13, 2022
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Advocates on Long Island are calling for improvements to be made to dangerous roads to make it safer for pedestrians to walk.

HEMPSTEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- Long Island is one of the deadliest areas in the country for pedestrians, and now advocates are pointing out six neighborhoods where improvements have to be made to make it safer for people to walk.

People scurrying across the street with no crosswalks as fast cars zip by could make it dangerous for Long Island pedestrians.

"I've seen some really fatal accidents on these blocks over the years," Roosevelt resident Kaleisha Smith said.

Street safety advocates and community leaders singled out six Long Island neighborhoods, mostly working class, as unsafe for pedestrians.

The locations are Central Islip, Wyandanch, Baldwin, Roosevelt, Huntington Station and the village of Hempstead.

"Knowing that there's state and federal money coming down the pipeline to improve our roadways across Long Island, we want to kind of spotlight where the neediest areas are," said Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island.

Alexander's non-profit identified the trouble spots through an audit of walking and design studies.

He met with Eyewitness News reporter Chantee Lans at one of them in Hempstead, where there is no crosswalk at North Franklin Street and Atlantic Avenue.

"They're not going to walk across here to go here," Alexander said. "You gotta make it easy for everyone involved and really get a crosswalk on this side as well."

Further down a busy Franklin Avenue, Vision Long Island recommends more school safety signs near the Academy Charter Elementary School, more visible crosswalks for students and pedestrian signals added near the Academy Charter Middle School.

"Our residents, we want to make sure that we keep them safe, our seniors across the street, our children, so these things are a big factor for us, keeping our community safe," Hempstead Village trustee Clariona Griffith said.

Pedestrians weave through an intersection where Debevoise Avenue, Mollineaux Place and Babylon Turnpike merge into four lanes on Nassau Road.

"People fly off on Nassau Road right over to Babylon Turnpike," Smith said. "I feel bad especially when I see the kids walking to the pool park over here because it's really unsafe."

Smith should know. Her own mother was hit by a car in Roosevelt.

"She was hit by a car maybe three years ago on East Clinton," Smith said.

Lans took pedestrian concerns to Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

"There are communities all about that," Ryder said.

ALSO READ | Subway surfers caught on video walking atop Brooklyn J train

Street safety advocates want to see more actions like narrowing lanes to slow speeds and extending sidewalks for pedestrians.

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