Safety on Newbridge Road — also known as NY Route 106 — continues to concern some East Meadow residents, even after the thoroughfare was reduced by two lanes in August 2010.
Newbridge Road, which was once four lanes, now consists of one lane in each direction, as well as a center/turning lane. The modification was made between Hempstead Turnpike (NY Route 24) and North Jerusalem Road in East Meadow. Worry about safety conditions on the road stemmed from problems with speed and
The change was made in “cooperation with local officials” to “improve safety, help reduce speeds and mitigate aggressive driving,” according to New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Region 10, Long Island, Public Information Officer Eileen Peters.
“Wider shoulders and left turn lanes/center turn lanes were also provided to improve safety,” she added.
Peters said that NYSDOT does not currently have any comparative accident statistics on Newbridge Road, but they are planning to “review the most recent vehicle crash data made available by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles.” At this time, there is only six months of information available since the 2010 alteration was done, she said.
When the change was initially made, NYSDOT did receive a “few complaints about the loss of travel lanes and slower traffic speeds particularly during the morning and afternoon peak periods,” but has not received any since, Peters added.
East Meadow resident Samantha Semonella said that she thought Newbridge Road was safer before the lane alteration. She added that now drivers have to wait a lot longer because of the limited lanes.
“I think it is worse,” Semonella continued. “I really don’t think that people were drag racing on that street. I think they maybe thought it was going to be better than it actually turned out to be.”
Bob Corley, an East Meadow resident and local FedEx deliveryman who drives on Newbridge Road everyday, said that with the lane consolidation it now takes “forever to cross” the road while driving.
“You don’t take the LIE and make it one lane because it is safer,” he continued. “I did hear that they did do that for safety reasons, but I don’t like it. I think it is more frustrating for the people trying to cross Newbridge Road as a driver.”
Though Corley said he didn’t think there was necessarily an issue with Newbridge Road before, he noted that he hasn’t really noticed many accidents since the change.
“I thought there was no problem with it, but there were definitely more accidents,” he added.
“One concern that is being addressed is the difficulty motorists experienced when attempting to enter or cross NY Route 106 due to the continuous flow of single lane traffic,” Peters said.
Due to this problem, NYSDOT has decided to install two traffic signals along Newbridge Road. The new lights will be located at Second Avenue, as well as Lawn Drive/Amherst Street. The intersection of Lawn Drive and Newbridge Road was the site of a fatal in late October.
“These signals are currently being designed and are scheduled to be installed late this year,” Peters added.
What do you think about the driving conditions on Newbridge Road? Tell us in the comments.