East Northport seeks funds to improve Larkfield Road

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East Northport business leaders are seeking funds to improve a section of busy Larkfield Road, citing safety concerns.

"Larkfield is one of the busiest roads in the town, and there have been accidents there," said Sharon Moulton, executive director of the hamlet's chamber of commerce.

Huntington Town spokesman A.J. Carter said Larkfield -- a roughly four-mile road that runs north and south and ranges from two to four lanes -- is the busiest town-owned road in Huntington.

Alterations would be made to a crosswalk at Larkfield Road and Eighth Avenue, near the entrance to the Northport-East Northport Public Library. The project would include installing pedestrian-activated bright, blinking lights on each side of the crosswalk and installing new signs.

There have been 28 vehicular accidents on Larkfield between Kew and Eighth avenues from 2011 through this June, according to data provided by Suffolk County police. None of the accidents on the roughly 350-foot stretch of the road were fatal, police said.

Moulton said the chamber has applied for $25,000 from the county, which town officials say would be matched with funds from its Environmental Open Space and Park Improvement Fund. She said the total cost of the project is $50,000.

Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport) said the project is among several streetscape improvements being sought by local community groups, including the Cold Spring Harbor Main Street Association and the Greenlawn Civic Association.

The county's Downtown Revitalization Grant Program "is a way for Suffolk County to support our downtowns and target capital funds toward projects born from the vision of residents who know their communities best. . . . The surrounding small businesses will ultimately benefit because pedestrian-friendly communities promote a healthy business climate," he said in a statement.

The legislation that approves funds for countywide projects will be introduced at the legislature's Sept. 9 meeting, and the earliest it could be approved would be Oct. 7, according to Spencer's office.

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Carter said a survey done several years ago found that roughly 27,000 cars travel daily on Larkfield Road.

Moulton said the area near the library is heavily used by residents. She said there are sports fields and a playground nearby. "We are always trying different things to make it a more walkable community," she said.

The project could be completed next spring, and improved safety could draw more visitors to the many businesses on Larkfield, Moulton said.

Library officials and patrons support the project on what is considered East Northport's main street.

"You need to feel secure that the cars will stop ... it is important to make it safer," library assistant director Nancy Morcerf said.

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Frank Doris, 59, a library patron from East Northport, said he would like to see a light at the crosswalk -- either a stop light or pedestrian-activated blinking lights, like what the chamber proposes. "I honestly don't think people see this crosswalk," she said.

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