Traffic study proposed for busy Woodbury Road in Huntington
The Huntington Town Board will vote Tuesday on a resolution to commission a traffic study for busy Woodbury Road.
"It's a long time coming," said board member Susan Berland, who is sponsoring the resolution that calls for spending $24,818.52 on the study.
"There have been a number of accidents and there have been a number of complaints registered by constituents, and questions about how we can introduce traffic-calming devices to slow traffic down," Berland said.
Residents have long complained about speeding on the road and accidents that have caused deaths and damaged property, including mailboxes and utility poles. The speed limit is 30 mph on the road that runs from West Pulaski Road to Main Street.
Marilyn McDermott, a Woodbury Road resident, said she moved into a house on the busy thoroughfare in February 2013 and in June of that year, a motorcyclist was killed outside her home.
In that crash, Andrew Garafalo, 21, of Melville was driving a 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle south on Woodbury Road at a high rate of speed when he crossed a double yellow line in an attempt to pass a car and was killed in the two-vehicle crash, Suffolk County police said at the time.
"When I spoke to my neighbors, it turned out it wasn't the first fatality," she said. "We'd known speeding was already a problem; we couldn't get our mail because it was too dangerous to be down at the end of the driveway."
She said days after the motorcyclist was killed, a motorist plowed through her mailbox. At some point, her child's school bus company gave permission to the driver to pull into McDermott's driveway for pickups and drop-offs. "It was too dangerous for us to even wait at the end of the driveway for the bus to come," McDermott said. "We never caught a break from what was going on Woodbury Road."
Fed up, she reached out to Berland and started an online petition urging the town to conduct a traffic study. More than 400 signatures have been gathered in support of the study.
Berland said the town put out a request for proposals last year to undertake the study and awarded it to Uniondale-based Gibbons, Esposito & Boyce Engineers. However, the town could not find money to pay for it. Funding was found to do it this year in the budgets of traffic safety and the comptroller, she said. The company agreed to do the study for the same amount quoted last year, Berland said.
The study will be completed by mid-September, she said.
"You don't want to get traffic counts in the last week of August when people are on vacation, school's out," Berland said. "You want to get the highest traffic counts when they do their analysis."