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AARP Study: Traffic Circles a Must for Main Street Smithtown

Report suggests setting up traffic circles at five intersections along the dangerous road. Would you support that?

The latest idea for fixing Smithtown's dangerous Main Street is in, and it might make your head spin.

In a report commissioned by the Long Island AARP, the organization advocates installing five traffic circles along a one-mile stretch of Main Street, according to a report in Newsday.

The engineer who conducted the study called traffic circles the only way to effectively reduce speed of cars driving on Main Street.

The news comes one week after the Tri-State Transportation Campaign named Route 25 (also known as Jericho Turnpike, Middle County Road, or Main Street in Smithtown) as one the most dangerous roads in Suffolk County.

In when she was hit by a car on Main Street, a tragedy that sparked a call for action to fix the dangerous roadway. And nearly a year later, 33-year-old Seamus Byrne .

Road fixes are already scheduled to start on Main Street this spring, which include reducing westbound traffic to one lane and creating a median and turning lane between Elm Avenue and Route 111. Those recommendations came from an earlier AARP report.

Christopher D'Antonio March 12, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I think the most productive solution would be a compromise which makes pedestrian movement safer, allows for consistent automobile movement, and hopefully gives a little wedge of space to bicycles. The number of driveways onto Main Street should be consolidated to the extent possible, with some primary entrances moved onto cross streets (This will reduce mid-block turning movements off of Main Street and ultimately improve traffic flow.) All of the intersections between the train overpass and Route 111 should receive pedestrian crossing signals in the event that any of them are lacking. Traffic circles will allow for improved traffic flow and reduced stopping, but their execution has to be sensitive to how pedestrians will cross them at intersections. It has also been demonstrated that bike lanes or shoulders have a noticeable traffic calming effect, where their implementation is practical. Since they only require 3 feet in either direction, effort should be placed toward incorporating them as a measure to calm traffic through Main Street, perhaps ending with a connection to trails at Caleb Smith State Park and Smith Haven Mall respectively.
Christopher D'Antonio March 12, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Congestion is a sign that an area is thriving, and a signal that we should be seeking to increase the capacity and appeal of our limited transportation facilities. Designing for use by pedestrians, transit users, and bicycles can only add another layer of appeal to Main Street, and will ultimately provide its businesses with additional markets to appeal to.
HeyJoe March 12, 2012 at 03:46 PM
how about pedestrian bridges over the road
HeyJoe March 12, 2012 at 04:00 PM
working on 347 and main street at the same time is going to be a traffic nightmare. the state doesnt have a good track record for safety improvements. an example is the northbound shoulder of 111 by Guiseppes. It is used by many pedestrians and bicyclists going up and down 111 because it is wider than the southbound shoulder. the state made the shoulder by Guiseppes a turn lane into the parking lot. Now pedestrians and bicyclists including children have to squeeze by cars that fly down the turn lane. there is no sidewalk there. the state and town both dropped the ball on that one.
Christopher D'Antonio March 12, 2012 at 04:41 PM
They would improve the safety of pedestrian movement, but they're an expensive and space consuming option which could act as a deterrent to movement across Main Street, and some pedestrians would continue to cross at ground level at what would be higher risk than before.
Jonathan Vecchi March 12, 2012 at 04:46 PM
There are many good ideas floating around for improving Main Street, the traffic, and safety. But I feel the primary result from this proposal is bigger problems with congestion - especially at rush hour.
Christopher D'Antonio March 12, 2012 at 04:55 PM
The state and town may not be implementing sensible design, but I would say that is unfortunately because we didn't speak out for plans that incorporated bike/ped movements at the time of construction, and the present low volumes of pedestrian and bicycle movements in those corridors seems to justify the lack of facilities for them. This is unfortunately a chicken and egg dilemma, increased numbers of pedestrians and cyclists using unsafe facilities, or safe facilities for an initially limited number of pedestrians and cyclists. Thankfully, New York State recently passed complete streets legislation known as Brittany's Law which requires the planning of roadway projects to consider all users. Hopefully, things will get better.
Nick Metrowsky March 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Ah, more Main Street fun. The traffic circles may have the desired effect, that is, traffic will go the roads to bypass Smithtown; Veteran's Highway and 347 (the Smithtown "Bypass"). Maybe the circles should go all the way to Old Willet's Path and to Smith Haven Mall; that certainly will force people to take appropriate routes. Lower the speed limit to 30 MPH, or less, will help, too. As for Route 25 being one of the most dangerous roads in New York State. It had had that designation on and off since the 1960s. Too much growth, poor suburban planning and freeways which were woefully built under capacity. The LIE was obsolete the day they turned the first shovel of dirt to build it. Alas, I suspect that 20 years from now, Main Street Smithtown will still be as dangerous, as it is today.
E Baum March 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Pittsfield MA had traffic circles and took them out because there were too many car accidents and traffic flow was worse. Instead they put in these warning signals that are impossible to miss so pedestrians can cross the street safely. They are not bad looking and seem very effective.
Christopher D'Antonio March 13, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Give me attractive low floor buses that run every 15 minutes throughout the day, go to important destinations, stop at clearly designated stops that provide shelter and schedule information (better yet, a transit app with schedule and route information for the whole system), and receive priority at traffic signals, and I will alleviate rush hour congestion. Give me bicycle lanes the length of 25 from one end of Smithtown to the other, and the same on Brooksite Drive, Maple Avenue, Edgewood, Landing, 25A, 454, 111, 347, Gibbs Pond, Smithtown Boulevard, Old Willets, Motor Parkway, and shared road markings and signage on other important routes, and I will alleviate congestion even more so. Finally, provide attractive pedestrian design (wide sidewalks where merited, benches, brick pavers, street trees, trash cans, sidewalk dining, crosswalks and signals) at key destinations like Main Street that invite walking, and arriving by bike or transit and we can move in that direction even more so. Not everyone can use these alternative modes for all or any of their daily trips, but given the present state of our transportation system the vast majority of those who feasibly could choose not to. It is not practical to add additional lanes, and attempting to do so by removing on street parking along Main Street could incite a riot amongst the business owners there. The inclusion of modes other than the automobile is merely a matter of tweaking existing conditions.
Christopher D'Antonio March 13, 2012 at 04:16 AM
If the Long Island Railroad were to actually become a useful resource to Smithtown by reducing its travel time and run at hourly or 30 minute frequencies throughout the day in both directions it might also play a role in reducing rush hour traffic. Given the comparative ease of enacting this and the previous suggestions compared to full scale roadway reconstruction, they at least merit consideration.
Christopher D'Antonio March 13, 2012 at 04:18 AM
New Brunswick NJ recently implemented similar crosswalks, including two which have motion activated flashing lights and street and eye-level when pedestrians cross.
Christopher D'Antonio March 13, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Just as a clarification, existing road shoulders of 3 feet can qualify as bike lanes initially.
WOODY11780 March 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Main Street is not wide enough to support traffic circles......Sounds like an unrealistic idea.
john killilea May 19, 2012 at 09:29 PM
how many buildings would have to be demolished to accomplish traffic circles- with the new turn lane no one is getting trapped behind vehicles turning left- which reduces mergers- i think the traffic through town is iimproved

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