When Sonic Drive-in Owner Spencer Hart spoke to local residents at , one of the hot-buttoned issues that arose was the effect that the new business would have on East Meadow Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike.
Particularly, residents voiced concerns about making a left or a right onto East Meadow Avenue from the shopping center, which also houses and
"It's already a nightmare to make a turn out of," one resident who lives nearby said. "This is not going to help."
Others suggested that Sonic help facilitate the placement of a traffic light at the corner so flow would move smoother onto the well-traveled East Meadow street.
"That’s under the jurisdiction of who owns the roadway, which is the Town [of Hempstead," Charles Olivo, a traffic specialist from Stonefield Engineering, said. "We’re not proposing any changes to the access points of the center."
As far as Hempstead Turnpike goes, Olivo said a lot of the crowd the new Sonic will generate would be coming from motorists that are already on the road. In terms of the internal traffic of the center, Olivo said that there are potential remedies to make the center easier to drive through.
"We’d like to control that internal traffic better with the use of stop bars and stop signs," he added.
"Initially, when we opened in North Babylon, there was excitement and we had overflow," Hart said. "While that was happening, we had dedicated people there that were managing that process. After a short honeymoon period, it went away."
Sonic will appear before the Town Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Wednesday at 2 p.m. to discuss the permits they are requesting for the East Meadow property, which is located at 1900 Hempstead Turnpike.
Are you concerned about the potential traffic effect a Sonic might have on the nearby area? Tell us in the comments.