Babylon Village officials are planning to lower the speed limit on four streets approaching accident-plagued Park Avenue in Babylon, even as Suffolk County conducts a traffic study of the busy thoroughfare.
Frederick, Livingston, Cadman and Litchfield avenues all intersect with Park Avenue and have a 30 mph speed limit that village trustees will vote to lower to 25 mph.
Each intersection has stop signs, and the village recently added signs warning drivers that oncoming traffic on Park Avenue doesn’t stop. But that hasn’t decreased the regular occurrence of car crashes at those intersections, village officials said. Suffolk County officials said there have been four crashes at the corner of Park and Livingston in the past few months.
Babylon Fire Department Chief Michael Golub said the village can put up more signs, telling people to be aware, but there’s only so much you can do.
“You have people who are not paying attention and you can’t fix stupid,” he said.
Park Avenue, or CR-50, has traffic lights at each end — at Deer Park Avenue and Little East Neck Road, and at the intersection with North Carll Avenue — the rest of the street, home to Babylon Memorial Grade School, has no other traffic lights or stop signs.
A portion of Park Avenue has a 20 mph school speed limit, and vehicles routinely exceed that, officials said. Suffolk police often station officers there, and an electronic sign shows drivers’ speeds.
Village officials attribute many of the crashes to vehicles coming from the eastbound Sunrise Highway service road, which has a 45 mph speed limit. Drivers often use Livingston Avenue as a cut-through and residents there complain of speeding.
Livingston bisects quiet residential intersections, several of which have all-way stops. So when drivers reach Park Avenue, they may expect another all-way stop and may not expect it to be a busy roadway, leading to a high rate of accidents, Mayor Ralph Scordino and Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) have said.
The Suffolk County Department of Public Works is conducting a traffic study of Park Avenue, but Scordino said he wants to change the speed limit now.
“I fear it’s a needed thing,” Scordino said. “I think it’s going to slow them down, hopefully.”
The public works department is in the final stages of collecting data for the study, which is expected to be done in August, said county spokesman Derek Poppe.
The village will hold a public hearing on June 25 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall to discuss the proposed speed limit change.