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Babylon Village officials report crashes on Park Avenue; county OKs study

Local officials say car crashes occur regularly on Park Avenue in Babylon, in particular at the intersection with Livingston Avenue, and Suffolk County will soon begin a traffic study there. (Credit: Newsday / Rachel O'Brien)

A traffic study beginning this spring in Babylon Village will focus on one county road, with village officials also considering a lower speed limit on at least one intersecting road.

Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino and Leg. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) appealed to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a West Babylon resident, in recent days about Park Avenue, or CR-50, a county road, calling it accident-plagued.

“Public safety is our highest priority,” county spokesman Derek Poppe said in an email. “After reviewing the concerns, we are moving forward with a traffic study in the coming months that will be completed by the end of the summer.”

Park Avenue has traffic lights at each end, at Deer Park Avenue and Little East Neck Road and at the intersection with North Carll Avenue.

But the rest of the street, which houses Babylon Memorial Grade School, has no other traffic lights or stop signs.

A portion of Park Avenue has a 30 MPH speed limit, while the rest has a 20 MPH school speed limit.

Scordino said he fields speeding complaints regularly, and he and McCaffrey asked for and received increased patrols from Suffolk police.

Scordino and other officials said the intersection with Livingston Avenue, which brings traffic from the eastbound Sunrise Highway service road, sees car crashes regularly.

They credit it, in part, to a difficult sightline for cars turning from Livingston Avenue onto Park Avenue.

Scordino will meet with the village attorney and trustees, he said, to discuss lowering the speed limit on some streets, including Livingston Avenue.

“The only thing we can do is put the signage up,” he said. “But somebody has to enforce it.”

Because Park Avenue is a county road, the village can’t change the speed limit, but Suffolk police patrols help with enforcement.

“Whenever the police are there, they issue tickets,” McCaffrey said.

Suffolk police didn’t return a request for comment about the increased patrols or traffic data.

County officials said there have been four crashes at that corner in the past few months.

The traffic study would help, McCaffrey said, to answer the question of why accidents on Park Avenue, particularly at the intersection with Livingston Ave, are a persistent issue.

“This is public safety, this isn’t about just an occasional accident,” he said. “The problem seems to be getting worse instead of better.”

The village installed a “stop ahead” sign on southbound Livingston Avenue approaching Park Avenue, and a “no thru trucks” sign for northbound traffic on Livingston Avenue.

Additional signage will be added below the stop signs on Livingston and Park, saying, “two-way stop” so drivers approaching Park Avenue do so cautiously.

Vehicles traveling from the eastbound Sunrise Highway service road, with a 45 mph speed limit, often use Livingston Avenue as a cut-through. That road intersects with quiet residential streets with little traffic, and several intersections have all-way stops.

When drivers reach Park Avenue, they may expect another all-way stop and may not expect it to be a busy major roadway, leading to crashes, Scor dino and McCaffrey said.


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