The strip of Hempstead Turnpike in front of Nassau University Medical Center where a pedestrian was struck and killed by a car Thursday night has been a safety concern for years, people who frequent the area said Friday.
The turnpike's crosswalk at Franklin Avenue, in front of the East Meadow medical center, is heavily used by hospital patients, employees and visitors.
People there tend to be in a hurry, rushing to medical appointments and work shifts or trying to catch the bus.
"It's right in the middle of everything," said Robin Rutherig, 48, who lives nearby.
Though there's a crosswalk signal for pedestrians, many people were observed jaywalking across the seven-lane roadway during a five-hour period Friday morning and afternoon.
Pedestrians who did wait for the crosswalk signal had about 30 seconds to make it across. The signal was green for only seven seconds of that time. Otherwise, it showed flashing red or solid red.
"It's really dangerous, and they don't give you enough time to cross the street," said Rutherig, who said she has lived a block away from the medical center for 22 years. "You've got people with canes, wheelchairs, babies.
"Cars just see the green light and they want to go," she said. "I've seen so many accidents at this corner."
Alani Grandison, 19, of Hicksville, who comes to the hospital daily to visit her premature baby, said she has had some close calls crossing the street there.
"I would think the [stoplight] is still red and I'd cross the street, and then the cars would just start coming," she said.
Matters are made worse by impatient drivers, said Samantha Henderson, 42, who works in pediatrics at the medical center.
"They just don't look," she said. "They seem to think there's no people around."
Across the seven lanes of traffic, the crossing signal on the southern side of the turnpike often is blocked from view by trucks or buses.
"They should do something about that, because there's always pregnant ladies on this corner," said Nelson Larios, 27, of Woodmere, who has worked for three years at Wall Street Gold Buyers, a shop near the turnpike's intersection with Franklin Avenue.