Cops: Pedestrian hit on Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale

Following a report of a�pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in Uniondale, Hempstead Turnpike was closed in both directions. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (Jan. 10, 2013)

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Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale was closed for three hours Thursday after a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle, a department spokeswoman said.

The turnpike was closed in both directions at Uniondale Avenue from about 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. as investigators gathered evidence, police said.

The pedestrian was taken to the hospital in critical condition, police said. There was no evidence of criminality and the cause of the accident was not immediately available, police said.

The accident happened on a 16-mile stretch of the turnpike that is due to get a series of safety improvements, including elevated crosswalks and raised medians.

Those safety improvements were delayed by the state Department of Transportation after superstorm Sandy hit Oct. 29, as workers and construction crews dealt with the debris and damage from the storm, including fallen trees and traffic signals that did not have power.

An elevated crosswalk is just west of the intersection near where the accident occurred, on the eastern edge of the Hofstra University campus.

The addition of median fencing and construction of 13 raised pedestrian medians throughout the 16-mile corridor were supposed to be done in fall 2012, the DOT said this week.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a transportation advocacy group, has named Hempstead Turnpike the most dangerous road for pedestrians in the New York region four times since 2008.

In February, a Newsday series of stories on pedestrian safety found that an average of five pedestrians a year died on Hempstead Turnpike between 2005 and 2011.

Other delayed Hempstead Turnpike work includes installation of five new crosswalks, building traffic signals at three intersections and the modification of a traffic signal at a fourth. Relocating six bus stops so they are closer to crosswalks also will have to wait until the spring, the DOT said.

With Gary Dymski and Keith Herbert

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