NYSDOT Addresses Residents' Concerns on Hempstead Turnpike Fence

New York State Department of Transportation officials say that the fence installed between Carmen and Franklin avenues will promote safety.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) recently addressed the concerns of East Meadow residents who recently spoke out against the installation of a fence on Hempstead Turnpike between Carmen and Franklin avenues.

The placement of the fence is part of NYSDOT's initiative to improve pedestrian safety along the 16-mile turnpike.

Yvonne Amato, who has lived on First Street for 31 years, said that safety is her main concern. She said that if there is a passageway in the middle of the fence and a proposed red light installed, students from East Meadow High School would have to cut through the passageway to cross the busy street.

Jennifer Post, spokesperson for the New York State Department of Transportation, said that the fence will keep all pedestrians safe.

"There are no breaks in the fence," Post said. "The fence will encourage pedestrians to cross at intersections that are more visible."

Amato said that she is also concerned that emergency vehicles won't be able to park on the median where the fence is being installed.

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"There was a major fire on Hempstead Turnpike last week and fire trucks and emergency vehicles parked on that median," she said. "If they were not able to, I don't think they would have been able to extinguish the fire so quickly. That is a major safety issue."

"The median is 20 feet wide," Post said. "If emergency vehicles needed to utilize it they should be able to park on it and if they needed to, firefighters can cut the fence or knock it down."

John Nikiel, who has lived on Roosevelt Avenue for 12 years, that he is bothered by the fact that the community was not given a chance to express their thoughts on the fence being placed on Hempstead Turnpike.

"It is being installed without any input or requests for opinions from any of the residents in this area," he said. "It is also being done without any previous input from or notification to any local government officials."

Post said that the NYSDOT has met with both county and local officials and discussed the safety of the corridor.

"There has been publicity on this initiative," she said.

What are your thoughts on the fence being installed? Tell us in the comments below. 

paul January 15, 2013 at 06:09 PM
I never said the FD does not do good work. However, some are real incredible and others are just that - BUFFS..... Years ago I inquired about a paid FD that is not filled with buffs but was told that it was a monetary issue. My response was increase the taxes and have a full time employed FD... Like it or not: Some, not all - abuse the blue light to go nowhere......... Your station houses are sometimes used as party central.... Not recently but in the past when you solicit for funds some have stated they have not yet received our annual donation etc... some do it anonymously too..... Are your books open to the public? Just asking and raising questions in this open forum..... How many fire houses are needed in EM? How many fire fighters are on call? How many medics? etc etc etc....
paul January 15, 2013 at 06:12 PM
The fence is for the safety of pedestrians. The FD should not be balking at something that has the potential to make crossing safer...... Unfortunately that is what it came down to a fence...
paul January 15, 2013 at 06:13 PM
To ArtyMarty: "your First Responder response time is now longer. " Because of the fence. NONSENSE......
John January 15, 2013 at 06:56 PM
paul, if; "The fence was placed there for pedestrian safety. I am surprised you do not see that point...." Then why isn't the DOT placing a fence along the ENTIRE length of Hempstead Turnpike, from the NYC line to the Sufflok line? Are pedestrians in front of NUMC any more at risk than anywhere else? I would think a pedestrian getting struck in front of a hospital could expect medical assistance faster than at any other location. Why not at; Uniondale Ave.-pedestrian struck and killed-no fence, near Conti Sq. Blvd.-2 pedestrians struck and killed-no fence, vicinity of Gardiners Ave. Levittown-pedestrain struck and killed-no fence. Why just here? THAT is the point. I couldn't begin to count the number of pedestrians I see crossing the turnpike at First Street on a daily basis. In 12 years, I haven't seen a single one get hit. But I have seen a number of emergency vehicles utilize the median to respond to calls. From now on though, I'll see neither occur. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Brent M. January 15, 2013 at 06:58 PM
I said it before.. it is what it is with the fence.. I can understand East Meadow residents complaints.. bc Outside NON East Meadow people caused this fence to go up.. I feel bad for the FD and other Emergency Vehicles rushing to get victims to the hospital now may loose critical time bc PEOPLE ARE STUPID and cant cross the street the proper way
Catherine Mary January 15, 2013 at 07:45 PM
It's not the whole turnpike people, just a few blocks, and believe me, the ambulances will go where they want to go when they want to do it. They could mow it down in seconds if it was that crucial that they drive on the median. It is not concrete, it's not even as sturdy as chain link, it is like a glorified snow fence. Isn't there something more important to spend your energy on?
Catherine Mary January 15, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Also, please keep in mind that is it not just STUPID people crossing the street there. It is sick people, scared people, mentally ill people and kids from the high school. These people need someone to look out for them.
John January 15, 2013 at 08:38 PM
The high school kids cross at Carmen Avenue, where the Crossing Guard is. As far as the sick, scared or mentally ill people, the ones that are crossing the turnpike to get to the hospital, that's why there is a parking lot at the hospital. So sick people can easily, quickly and safely go into the hospital.
Florence Trunk January 15, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Would any of you folks approve an alternative?? Like a pedestrian span OVER the Turnpike?? Like the Hofstra spans?? If pedestrian safety is the goal, why not?
Frank T January 15, 2013 at 09:21 PM
I would love to see pedestrian spans but some have complained that it costs too much and pedestrians would not use it.
robert January 15, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Exactly why emergency vehicles should not be riding on the medium. It's not a traffic lane! I don't support jaywalking but what if a school kid was on the center medium when one of those giant fire trucks came on and the kid had nowhere to go but under the wheels?
John Doe January 15, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Robert: First of all, it's median. Medium is a size or a person that can talk to the dead. Second, if your child is not alert enough to not see a giant fire truck with lights, horns and sirens while they are crossing a 6+ lane road, they shouldn't be walking by themselves. 6 lanes fill up very very fast during rush hour
John Doe January 15, 2013 at 09:48 PM
And yes, emergency vehicles use it quite often to expedite their response. The same people here complaining about them driving on the median will be the same complaining that the cops didnt stop the robbery at their house or the medics didnt get there fast enough to save their loved one or the FD was too slow to stop the fire. And let's be real, it's not easy nor is any emergency vehicle going to go and mow down a metal fence.
John January 15, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Why do you need a pedestrian overpass from a residential area to a hospital that has it's own on-site parking? That would be like putting a pedestrian overpass over Hempstead Turnpike at the Nassau Mall in Levittown. There is already a parking lot at the mall, like the hospital. If you shop in the mall, park at the mall. If you got to the hospital, park at the hospital. It's that simple.
Frank T January 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM
John, some people actually walk and don't drive everywhere. It would be safer to have a pedestrian bridge at the school crossing.
John January 15, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Frank, I am one of those people who does like to walk more often than drive. When I cross a road like Hempstead Turnpike, I use the crosswalk, at a traffic light. I don't run across the middle of the street. And the school crossing, from the south side of the turnpike to the north sice, where the East Meadow High School students cross already has a crosswalk, a traffic light, and a crossing guard. There is no reason to erect a pedestrain overpass. And there is certainly no reason to erect such a structure where a simple walk of a short distance, in either direction, leads to a traffic light and a crosswalk. The pedestrian overpass at Hofstra is used to connect the north and south campuses and is used by hundreds of student and faculty members daily. No such need exists at other locations.
paul January 16, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Not only the cost, the area needed for it, the maintaining and cleaning of it, the additional crime factor.... A pedestrian overpass = ridiculous...
Catherine Mary January 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM
I cross in front of the hospital at the light and see plenty of high school kids who didn't cross at Carmen Ave. Also, not everyone drives John. MANY people take the bus to the hospital. And therefore need to cross the street. It's a safety net hospital, a lot of the patients can't afford cars.
Catherine Mary January 16, 2013 at 02:32 PM
People on crutches or in wheel chairs can't climb up and down stairs. A pedestrian span would not help those disabled or temporarily unable to use stairs get across.
Lisa DellAccio January 16, 2013 at 07:07 PM
This fence is a complete waste of taxpayer money. It is an eye sore. It will cut down on response times for ambulances, police and fire crews who use that median during rush hour. If people would use common sense and cross at the lights and crosswalks like they should, there would less accidents with pedestrians... seriously, they are jaywalking and should be ticketed...not using taxpayers money to make a fence because people have no common sense!!! it is disgusting really!
Lisa DellAccio January 16, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Honestly...lets be serious here. None of this would be needed if people used common sense...what ever happenedd to Cross on the green and not in between? Because seriously, it is jaywalking when you don't and the pedestrain should get ticketed. It is not the cars fault that pedestrians dart out of nowhere and cross in the middle of the street... yes we try to see everything, but we can't always .. we try to anticipate things but hard to anticipate someone darting out in the middle of the road!.. if people exercised caution, used common sense , and followed the rules, we wouldn't need to do things like this!! Just like people not learing that red means stop and green means go so we spend all that money to change the traffic crossing to people walking and people not walking. It is ridiculous all the excess money going out for unnecessary things!!!
Brent M. January 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
I agree with Lisa!! if I was writing up an accident report, and it involved a pedestrian jaywalking or crossing the street NOT at an intersection.. I would make sure the report reflected a majority of fault on the pedestrian side!! .. STUPID people that cause accidents bc they are too lazy to cross need to be punished
John January 16, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Yes Catherine, many patients take the bus to the hospital. And guess what? There are two bus stops at Hempstead Turnpike and Franklin Ave, at a traffic light, with a crosswalk. Which one of the patients taking the bus needs to cross at First or Second Streets? Are you trying to tell me that someone gets off the bus at Franklin or Carmen Avenues, at a traffic light, then walks down to where there is no light to cross the street? Please. The people who cross at First and Second are the people who park their cars on First and Second and then walk across the turnpike to the hospital. And roughly half of those people are dressed in scrubs. Not for style, but because they work at the hospital. I know. I live right here and watch them every day. Don't tell me the people who cross at First and Second take the bus. There is no bus stop in the middle of this neighborhood. The bus stops are on the turnpike, at traffic lights, and crosswalks. Period. And why do you cross at the light in front of the hospital? Do you work there by any chance? And if you do work there, isn't there adaquate parking on the campus for all the employees as Mr. Gianelli keeps saying? Where do you park your car?
paul January 17, 2013 at 01:36 AM
Yes we all know about "cross at the green and not in between." The fence is not a big deal... Just that the state/county had better keep the area clean of: 1) excess debris 2) signs for advertisements 3) political signs (they are the worst offenders) 4) repair when necessary... If you noticed it is however a low grade type of fencing, not very sturdy but will serve its purpose of hopefully deterring pedestrians who cross in appropriately. The fence will not hinder any emergency vehicles at all.... Whom ever believes that also probably believes in pixie dust...
paul January 17, 2013 at 01:41 AM
median strip Definition me·di·an strip NOUN 1. a strip of land down the center of a road that separates lanes of traffic traveling in opposite directions.. It is not for pedestrians walking or vehicles to drive on... PERIOD. Emergency vehicles will not be affected, AT ALL... The FD seems to have commented about a response time. I assure you it wont. You know exactly how to deal with it IF NECESSARY......
Jenn January 17, 2013 at 01:33 PM
It's a waste of money - it reminds me of the big tag located on every blowdryer cord "not for use in shower". We (corporations, business owners, government, communities) spend more money protecting the stupid. How about survival of the fittest? We all know that it's going to be one giant collector for garbage, every breeze will push debri into the fence, it will collect there until someone removes it - how often will that be? Maybe they'll bring back the prisoner clean-ups!
Brent M. January 17, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Paul I agree with you.. hopefully they keep it clean and yes no NONSENSE political signs or buisness signs away!!! Jenn I also agree with you.. but like i keep saying.. IT IS WHAT IT IS.. Prisoner clean ups still go on.. but they mostly stay along carman ave..
Catherine Mary January 17, 2013 at 06:36 PM
"And why do you cross at the light in front of the hospital? Do you work there by any chance? And if you do work there, isn't there adaquate parking on the campus for all the employees as Mr. Gianelli keeps saying? Where do you park your car? John, I cross there when I WALK TO WORK FROM MY HOUSE. Is that OK with you?
Catherine Mary January 17, 2013 at 06:39 PM
There is no such thing as common sense anymore. People feel their safety is everyone else's responsibility. If you need proof, try backing out of a parking spot at Walmart. It's ridiculous. People do stupid things, sue the person who wasn't stupid and sit home on their stupid a$$e$ counting the money they get in the law suits.
paul January 17, 2013 at 08:08 PM
To Jenn: Those are all disclaimers for the stupid and the liars, oh I mean lawyers....


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