Main Street Changes Get Positive Reviews 3 Months Later

Proponents of the changes say they've received positive feedback since the changes were made in May.

Main Street has had numerous changes in the wake of many pedestrian deaths on the roadway, including eastbound traffic reduced to one lane and the installation of left turning lanes back in May. When changes were made many Patch readers, while applauding the efforts to make the road safer, were not pleased with the results.

Since , proponents of the road changes said the feedback received has largely been positive.

Lavena Sipes, mother of , the 11-year-old girl who was killed on Main Street in November 2009, said people have told her driving on Main Street has become more comfortable.

"As far as what's been done so far everyone has told me, especially closer friends, say that they honestly feel more comfortable driving down Main Street and that sometimes it's a little bit slower but so what, it's going to make things safer," Sipes said.

Mancini Architecture owner Mark Mancini, who has been outspoken about the need for changes on Main Street, said he's heard complaints about delays at certain intersections but the feedback has still largely been positive.

"I think there's some frustration coming into the merge but it's got much better as the months have worn on, people have got used to it," he said. "There are times that it does get jammed up at the Route 111 intersection or at Terry Road, it gets backed up a little bit."

Both Sipes and Mancini said aside from road delays the complaints they've heard from locals concern the lack of law enforcement on the road and the speeding from motorists that still exists.

While both Sipes and Mancini said they have not heard much from local business owners about the road changes, some owners said they've experienced differences at their places of work since the road changes were made.

John Johnson, owner of Cupcake Couture, said his customers are frequently parking in front of the store now versus across the street when he first opened.

"Now customers can obviously park in front of the store so there is a convenience factor, for lack of a better word, for my customers," he said. "They probably feel a lot safer now that traffic has slown up a little bit."

Johnson did add, however, that it is still too soon to say if the changes have provided a boost to his business.

While the changes are a good start, according to Sipes, she said there is much more work to do.

"There's so much opportunity for the town to take this even further and bring in economic development that would benefit the town," she said. "From a safety standpoint this is a stepping stone but I think more should be done."

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STM August 16, 2012 at 06:11 PM
At times it has improved flow but when it backs up, it sure slows things down and jams almost to St James. The problem is there's no rhyme or reason to the jams. It can take a person 5min to get to the doctor or 25....that's a huge difference. Think they need to do something different!!
Tom Gross August 16, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I agree with STM. Going west into town when it merges into one lane, is extremely frustrating, and you dont want a bunch of frustrated motorist driving through that part of town. How about a walk over, like the one at the train station? I know it wouldnt be an easy thing to do, but it would make pedestrian crossing alot safer. One of the problems crossing Main Street, is waiting so long for a green. I know there is no easy "solution" to the problems there, but we need to keep the frustration down with the drivers and the pedestrians. I personally park behind the businesses on the north side of the street when I use them because of the hazards and frustrations of crossing Main Street.
WOODY11780 August 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Daiseyes August 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Is there an arrow yet at Lawrence? That's where all of the accidents are happening, no to mention the elem school right there. Turning left needs to have an arrow ASAP!
marguerite zangrillo August 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Drivers in the merging lane do not have the right of way. Caution should be exercised when entering the left lane. Look before entering.
Moe August 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Not sure how it hasn't effected businesses there, I can't be the only one who will no longer go anywhere near Main St to shop anymore due to the traffic jams.
Mom of 2 August 17, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I avoid Smithtown at all costs! I would rather drive out of my way a bit then get stuck in that mess.
Bob August 17, 2012 at 02:02 PM
The problem is the w/b lane from Terry Rd goes from 1 lane to 2 lanes for about 1,000 feet and then back to 1 lane as you pass Rt 111. Just keep it one lane all the way from Terry Rd. Make the right lane at Rt111 a right turn lane only. This would keep the cars from fighting each other to gaine one or two spots further up the line.
Dave M. August 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM
How did they decide to make it one-lane westbound? It seems like there should be 2 lanes westbound since that is the direction of the hospital.
Paula B. August 17, 2012 at 04:39 PM
East of the 111 traffic light, there should only be ONE lane heading west. The other lane should be turned in to a right turn only lane. That would eliminate the bottleneck at the intersection. Other than that I think it's easier to get through main street now.
new guy August 17, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I like the changes. Nice improvement.
DF August 17, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I have to echo the others above me. I don't understand why they felt it necessary to open up the one lane going westbound between terry and 111 into two lanes, then force everyone to merge after getting through the 111 intersection. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people gun it when that light turns green just to jockey for position in the merge. IT HAS TO STOP! Turn that right lane into a turning lane and you keep traffic flowing smoothly. It's not rocket science. I'm surprised this article hasn't commented on the number of side-swipes at this intersection going up drastically since May.....
Aidan August 18, 2012 at 03:16 AM
You need 2 WB lanes at 111. It is common throughout major intersections to have an extra through lane that ends at the other side of the intersection. This gets more cars through with less green time. But, they should have made the right lane continue and turn right onto Landing.
arahmed123 September 04, 2012 at 10:30 PM
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