Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that changes are planned for to improve safety and reduce speed on a state road in Farmingdale following the tragic car accident in May that claimed the lives of five teenagers.
The traffic-calming project will reduce four lanes of traffic to two – one in each direction – on Conklin Street, also called Route 24. The changes aim to boost safety, as part of a pledge Cuomo made to prevent future accidents.
“As the father of three young daughters who drive, I know firsthand the importance of keeping our roads safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “Implementing these safety precautions on Conklin Street will bring traffic speeds to safer levels and help reduce both the number and the severity of crashes in the area. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones on this road, and it is my hope that between these new measures and our driver education and enforcement initiatives that we can prevent any future tragedies in this community.”
Overseen by New York’s Department of Transportation, the lane reduction will occur on Conklin Street between Secatogue Avenue and Birch Avenue. A 15-foot two-way left turn lane will be added in the center of the roadway, and there will be no loss of on-street parking.
Known as “road diets,” these changes are considered an effective and inexpensive way to calm traffic, state officials say. They aim to boost driver compliance with speed limits, and therefore reducing vehicle speeds and the severity of crashes, and are one of nine proven safety countermeasures recommended by the Federal Highway Administration.
The changes will be implemented as part of a project to resurface Route 24 between the Meadowbrook Parkway and Route 110, officials said. The road will be restriped in the new configuration once paving is complete. Work is scheduled to be finished by the end of November.
Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand was grateful “to have the traffic engineers assess the situation and make needed changes to assure the safety of our residents. This was done very quickly and I extend my thanks.”
Back in May, Cuomo directed the installation of new radar technology at the intersection of Conklin and Walnut Streets. The system uses radar to detect speeding vehicles and switches a connected traffic signal to red, forcing the driver to stop. The state also installed two speed control trailers on Conklin Street, alerting drivers of their speed.
Officials are continuing to collaborate with traffic boards and police departments from both Nassau and Suffolk Counties to review ongoing educational efforts and recommend further courses of action. praise
Sen. Kemp Hannon commended the “”quick response of the Cuomo administration for addressing the Conklin Avenue ‘speedway.’”
Assemb. Joseph Saladino said he was “pleased that the state has taken our suggestion to reconfigure this road so that we may never lose lives again.”He added, “we are responding to a horrific accident with the hopes that it is done quickly and effectively.”