Over 100 local businesses, civics and road safety advocates gathered for solutions to improve the safety and economic growth along Long Island’s roadways. The annual Long Island Complete Streets Summit was hosted by the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in East Farmingdale.
Village of Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender was the keynote speaker highlighting what we need to accomplish on our roadways to truly make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists. She reviewed the state of traffic calming and Complete Streets projects with the challenges and solutions facing municipalities in carry them out.
A work session was held highlighting 5 of LI’s Pedestrian & Bicycle hot spots to identify preliminary recommendations for safety improvements. Those five areas have seen recent deaths or accidents and many of them have planned future growth that would have more folks walking so improvements are needed. Four of these areas are either have planned or actual growth totaling nearly 3,000 units of transit oriented development with an increase in walking and bicycling expected.
Speakers this year included Michael Vitti, C.L.I.M.B.; Sylvia Silberger, Car-Less Long Island; Frank Wefering, GPI / Greenman-Pedersen, Inc..; Pete Kremer, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff; Margaret Kubilins, VHB; Hon. Legislator Laura Curran, Nassau County; Hon. Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Town of Hempstead; Sean Sallie, Nassau County; Chris Lucas, NV5, Hon. Ralph Ekstrand Mayor, Village of Farmingdale & Hon. Jorge Martinez, Deputy Mayor, Incorporated Village of Freeport, Other municipalities that provided updates included Hon. Valerie M. Cartright, Councilwoman, Town of Brookhaven, Jack Schnirman from the City of Long Beach and the Incorporated Village of Valley Stream.
This coalition is a contingent of chambers of commerce, civic associations, local governments, engineering and professional trade groups, transit advocates and members of the public who want safe streets for all modes of traffic. The group looks to coordinate Complete Streets planning efforts, communicate on finding opportunities for local projects, act as a clearinghouse for information and lobby with a united voice for safe roadways.
Toward that end, members of the group at the meeting are seeking a meeting with NYS DOT to review the needs of improvements that can be made along the 5 roadways spotlighted. In addition there was interest in the group to see at least some portion of red light camera funding can be dedicated towards road safety improvements in each County – not just dedicated to general fund support.