While Babylon Village officials plan to lower the speed limit on four streets intersecting with accident-prone Park Avenue, residents are calling for stronger action, including adding a traffic light and increasing police enforcement.
During a sometimes-heated public hearing Tuesday, residents told Mayor Ralph Scordino and village trustees that their proposal to lower the 30-mph speed limit on Livingston, Litchfield, Frederick and Cadman avenues to 25 mph to prevent crashes at Park Avenue intersections is insufficient.
Many residents said they thought lowering the speed limit wouldn’t prevent drivers from speeding, ignoring stop signs at Park Avenue intersections and crashing.
Resident Grace Druiett estimated the white picket fence that surrounds her property on Park Avenue at the corner of Livingston Avenue has been damaged by vehicles at least 15 times in 30 years.
“I am so done with these accidents in front of my house,” she said. “Is there any way we can get a traffic light on that corner?”
The Suffolk County Department of Public Works has been conducting a traffic study of county-owned Park Avenue and expects to be finished in August, spokesman Derek Poppe said.
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 no stop signs or traffic lights are on the rest of the street.
The village added alerts to stop signs on the side streets, warning drivers that traffic on Park Avenue doesn’t stop, but residents said drivers still ignore the signs and end up colliding with other vehicles on Park Avenue. An electronic sign on Park shows drivers’ speeds, and Suffolk police routinely station officers there to catch speeders, but residents asked for an increased police presence.
Among those requesting a traffic light on Park and Livingston avenues was Cindy Rodgers, a longtime school crossing guard at Babylon Memorial Grade School on Park Avenue.
She said “90 percent of the people” drive at least 35 mph in the 20-mph school zone.
Some residents suggested making Livingston, Litchfield, Frederick and Cadman avenues one-way streets so drivers don’t use them as cut-throughs between Sunrise Highway and southern points in the village.
Livingston Avenue resident Bruce Hoffman supported the one-way idea.
“Reducing the speed limit by 5 miles, according to Michigan State University, a study they did, it doesn’t do anything,” he said.
Scordino, who initially encouraged suggestions but later appeared frustrated, cutting off and arguing with speakers, said officials would wait for the completed traffic study before deciding how to proceed.
“We have forums like this where people make recommendations, and hopefully the recommendations are going to be on your side and we can move on,” he said. “We listen all the time.”