A pair of proposals to overhaul Main Street in Smithtown -- including one that would divert westbound traffic away from the hamlet's shopping district -- received mixed reviews from local officials and residents who viewed the plans last week.

Even with reservations about the plans, which were developed by state transportation engineers, the officials and residents said they are optimistic that safety can be improved along the six-block section of road, the scene of three pedestrian fatalities in two years.

"It's obvious that they're working toward a solution," said Lavena Sipes of Smithtown, whose 11-year-old daughter, Courtney, was killed crossing Main Street in November 2009. Sipes and her husband, Tracey, were invited to a discussion of the proposals last Monday at the state office building in Hauppauge. Also present were state Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald and federal, state, county, town and police officials.

"I think they're on the right track, and all the right people were there," she said.

Since her daughter's death, two other pedestrians -- Charles Doonan, 65, of Flushing, and Seamus Byrne, 33, of Smithtown -- died after being struck on Main Street. There have been increasing calls to revamp the section of road, from Landing Avenue to Redwood Lane, which consolidates state Routes 25 and 25A.

State officials offered two proposals, including one that would detour westbound traffic north to Landing Avenue and Redwood Lane. That plan faced skepticism from town and county officials who said local shops would lose customers.

"A lot of it didn't make sense to me," said County Legis. Lynne Nowick (R-St. James).

The plan would require seizing a portion of Smithtown Town Hall property along Redwood Lane. "I don't think that's the best solution," Town Councilman Robert Creighton said.

The other proposal would reduce four-lane Main Street to three lanes -- two eastbound and one westbound -- with a center median and left-hand turning lane. Creighton and others praised the plan, saying the absence of a turning lane is a safety hazard.

But County Legis. John Kennedy (R-Nesconset) questioned the plan's call for adding street parking to buffer traffic from pedestrians. "I am not a fan of that on-street parking," he said.

A follow-up session is planned for next month.

"Both ideas have merits," Lavena Sipes said. "I can see both plans working."

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