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Sonic Discussion: Concerns Regarding Traffic Effect

Many residents believe Hempstead Turnpike and East Meadow Turnpike are already log jammed during peak hours.

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.

paul March 06, 2012 at 02:37 PM
"Are you concerned about the potential traffic effect a Sonic might have on the nearby area? " Not at all. Cant wait to see all the buzz and excitement of a new business venture in the town of East Meadow... If Sonic has as many cars as some people think they will, then I know for sure Sonic is definitely in the correct location..... There are multiple entrances or exits throughout the lot, with and without lights, may I suggest that if you do not feel safe using a particular exit use one you feel safer using. Regarding making a left turn onto East MEadow avenue, for some it is never a safe thing to do especially during busy hours of the day. There are people that never make lefts or drive on bridges or highways or go on planes.. There are alternatives. May I suggest using an exit that you would feel safer using... I am ecstatic to see the vacancies disappear and other viable businesses opening in the plaza...
Brent M. March 06, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I agree Paul!! There is numerous exits out of the shopping plaza!! and if people are too lazy to go to a traffic light. .shame on them.. and the idea that people may park in the houses behind the north side of Hempstead Turnpike and run across for a cheeseburger is rediculous. Put the sonic in and even put a Chick-Fil-A in there too.!!!
Susan March 07, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Definitely in favor or Sonic but would fight tooth and nail to stop Chic-Fil-A from coming here. Timmy B., you might want to read up on them before claiming to want one. They aren't just a restaurant, they are practically a religion.
det2659 March 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Susan, Timmy, Paul -- I strongly agree on both your points. The complaints about traffic along Hempstead Turnpike is totally ridiculous. If the turnpike is at capacity now how will this affect Sonic? Will cars stack up on each other ? If it is not manageable now what is the point? It reverts to the town doing things that should have been done years ago.
joeg March 07, 2012 at 02:33 PM
What is everybodies #1 complaint when a project wants to get approved. TRAFFIC. well i have live in the area all my life and traffic on Hempstead turnpike has been crazy all my life. they dont want this and they dont want that. But its amazing how people rather see a area of closed builds with boarded windows, writing all over , garbage piling up . Hempstead turnpike is going to be clogged with traffic no matter what we do. But its ok to put of 1000s of seniors housing around TOH , where most of them drive a cars and make traffic . Come on people pick and chose your opinion.
Susan March 07, 2012 at 03:25 PM
There aren't going to be any entrances or exits into or out of Sonic from Hempstead Tpke. People must enter the shopping center to go to Sonic. Why doesn't anyone remember when East Meadow Plaza's stores were filled to capacity AND had a movie theatre??? There was traffic then too. The possible traffic was addressed at the meeting mostly to everyone's satisfaction. If you weren't at the meeting with Hart,, then you wouldn't know. Btw, the food at Sonic is not exactly terrific. I think people will realize that pretty fast. Once the novelity wears down, then so will the "grand opening" traffic. Sonic will be here for the next 25 years. Get used to it! Sonic will bring business back to East Meadow Plaza and East Meadow!!
Rebecca March 08, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Agreed, each of you. And for what it's worth, it isn't all that hard to turn left onto East Meadow Avenue - there are 2 signals on either side. You just have to wait your turn! Which I know, is a tough concept... But let's say you don't want to wait. So okay, turn RIGHT and turn around, or use one of the existing traffic signals, like the one by Pathmark. Problem solved.
paul March 22, 2012 at 02:35 AM
The official release by the BZA has not yet been distributed. As stated by another writer it was not yet typed up for mailing. I was given the same response today in person at the TOH. If the decision is something that can be reasonably appealed I am pretty sure an attempt will be made. Keep writing/blogging all your positive comments. The right people are reading them... When an official response is received please feel let the BZA know how you feel....
paul May 25, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Show your support for Sonic... Please see link below. https://www.change.org/petitions/sonic-drive-in-restaurant-for-east-meadow-is-the-right-choice-tell-the-town-of-hempstead-bza-they-got-it-all-wrong

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