With an anticipated uptick in pedestrian accidents as daylight savings time has ended, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran recently joined the county’s Commissioner of Police Patrick Ryder, Legislator Debra Mule, members of the county’s Department of Public Works (DPW) leadership and others to shed light on the county’s pedestrian safety initiatives and raise awareness of roadway safety measures for pedestrians and drivers.
In addition, the county is initiating a road corridor safety master plan to secure a system that allows the county to programmatically address both current and future inquiries related to road corridor safety and review accident histories for these corridors.
“As we continue to promote and develop walkable downtown communities near mass transit, ensuring the safety of both motorists and pedestrians is a top priority,” Curran said. “Nassau County has a wide-ranging approach to addressing pedestrian safety utilizing the latest technology, comprehensive traffic studies and community outreach. With accidents involving pedestrians almost doubling from September to November in recent years, as it gets darker earlier, there is more to be done—especially in the way pedestrian accidents are reported and analyzed. We must also continue to educate both drivers and pedestrians about their responsibilities on the road.”
“Pedestrian safety is of utmost importance, especially around the holiday season when so many of us can become distracted by many things,” said Ryder. “We have to make it a priority to all go home safe to our families and loved ones. Please limit these distractions when driving and as a pedestrian so we can significantly decrease accidents and injuries.”
Nassau County Traffic Engineering Safety Initiatives
Nassau County works to utilize the latest technologies to improve safety including the most up-to-date treatments available in pavement markings, signs, signals and beacons, and the use of rectangular rapidly flashing beacons (RRFB). Three RRFB locations were installed between 2017-19. One of the RRFB is installed on Atlantic Avenue at Union in Lynbrook, East Williston Avenue at the East Williston Middle School in East Williston and Tulip Avenue in Floral Park.
All non-motorized crossings are signed using highly reflective material,which is most visible in low light conditions, such as dawn/dusk in fall and winter season. DPW replaces old pedestrian signal displays with new pedestrian count down signals, which better inform the pedestrians of their crossing time. Pedestrian facilities were upgraded or enhanced at 129 existing signals between 2017-19. Additional upgrades are highlighted below.
Nassau County Traffic Safety Studies
In addition to the road corridor safety master plan, the county is about to initiate the Nassau County Shared-Mobility Management Plan, a study to create a strategy for integrating and expediting the adoption of new mobility modes and services. Biking infrastructure and bike sharing availability will be a critical component of the plan.
In Elmont, DPW is looking at ways to improve safety for all roadway users on Elmont Road, Dutch Broadway and Corona Avenue. This work will complement the Town of Hempstead’s recent lowering of Dutch Broadway’s speed limit to 20 miles per hour, telling local drivers that “Twenty is Plenty.”
Community Outreach Infinitives
Children and adults, who are 65 and up, are most vulnerable to pedestrian injuries. For seniors, pedestrian-traffic injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths, and second leading cause of unintentional, injury-related hospital admissions.
To prevent and avoid pedestrian-related injuries or death, pedestrians and motorists are encouraged to yield for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections, to not block crosswalks, to not run any red lights and to obey the speed limit, always look for pedestrians, particularly when turning at a green light or making a right turn on red, do not text and drive and more.
Local Floral Park Residents Talk Safety
“Tulip and Birch [avenues] is an incredibly busy and dangerous intersection,” local resident Karen Rie said.
Local resident Rita Ammendola said cars don’t stop when the flashing lights are blinking at Tulip Avenue’s crosswalk.
“I have seen this many times on Tulip Avenue across from Lee’s drugstore,” she said.
There is also the issue of pedestrians not following the rules according to resident Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz while resident Amanda Lawrence recommended that flashing lights should be included on stop signs as well.
“Then you also have pedestrians who don’t even cross at that crosswalk, but instead jaywalk where ever it is convenient for them,” she said.