The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) announced Monday a series of pedestrian safety improvements along Hempstead Turnpike as part of a multi-agency initiative to enhance safety along the dangerous thoroughfare.
Since March of this year, the NYSDOT has made a variety of pedestrian safety improvements on Hempstead Turnpike, including remarking 235 crosswalks — more than half of which were widened — increasing pedestrian crossing times at 86 traffic signals, reprogramming dozens of crosswalks and adding new features to the crossing buttons.
"Working cooperatively with our local, state and federal partners, we examined and analyzed the entire Hempstead Turnpike corridor this spring, developed a plan for enhancing pedestrian safety along it and made pedestrian safety improvements at dozens of locations," New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said Monday. "As work continues, we're planning additional safety initiatives for the future."
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In mid-March, Hempstead Turnpike was rated as the most dangerous road in the region by the Tri-State Transportation Corporation (TSTC).
A team from NYSDOT, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, the State Department of Health, the Federal Highway Administration, the Nassau County Traffic Safety Board and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council has recommended a series of short term pedestrian safety improvements, many of which have been implemented or will be completed this spring.
The team will present additional, longer-term recommendations to the commissioner later this month.
NYSDOT reviewed every motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian from Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2011. There were 326 pedestrian crashes identified, including 20 fatalities (two people were killed in one crash).
The most recent fatality along Hempstead Turnpike came earlier last month when a 16-year-old Levittown pedestrian was struck and killed as he attempted to cross the roadway.