Amityville’s portion of Route 110 will be reshaped next year to calm traffic and make the road safer for pedestrians.
Changes planned for the busy stretch include tree plantings, curb extensions and fencing on medians.
The New York State Department of Transportation is to undertake the work as part of a larger project to improve pedestrian safety along all of Route 110. The first phase of that project will start this year or early 2017 and finish by fall 2017, a department spokeswoman said. It is expected to cost about $2.79 million.
Village Mayor James Wandell called the work among the most significant in decades for the road named Broadway as it passes through the heart of the village.
“This is big,” Wandell said at a village board meeting last month. “This is the first major step in traffic calming, which in my opinion has held us back as a village and commercial district for a very long time.”
The 16-mile Route 110 is one of Long Island’s busiest traffic arteries, funneling drivers off the Long Island Expressway and two parkways to the business parks and shopping plazas that dominate much of its business corridor. The speed limit in some sections reaches 55 mph.
Amityville’s portion of the road does double duty, first as the southern beginning of the artery that carries more than 46,000 vehicles every day on four lanes. Additionally, Route 110 anchors downtown civic and business life, which many longtime residents say has suffered since the road’s widening in 1953.
“We lost the intimate downtown, similar to Farmingdale’s, that we once had,” said Wandell, who grew up in the village. Never mind that the speed limit on Broadway is 30 mph; all too often, he said, drivers are “gunning it” to get past traffic lights at the north end of the village.
There were 148 reported crashes along all of Route 110 from 2008 through 2012, 13 of them fatal, according to a recent DOT study. There were four car strikes on pedestrians at Oak Street in Amityville, none fatal.
Now, two years after they approached the DOT asking for improvements to discourage hurrying drivers and encourage pedestrians, village officials will get much of what they asked for. The improvements include curb extensions at Oak Street and Union and Green avenues, and other changes, said DOT spokeswoman Eileen Peters. Combined, they are intended to narrow the roadway, slow traffic and make walking easier.
New crosswalks are to be installed at Ireland Place and Avon Place. Fencing will be installed on the medians between Sunrise Highway and the Southern State Parkway, encouraging the jaywalkers who often sprint across 110 between blocks to use the crosswalks instead.
In 2014, the DOT installed traffic signals at Bentley Road and at Harrison Avenue, along with pedestrian crosswalks and signals using countdown timers.
The new work will temporarily close some traffic lanes during off-peak travel times, Peters wrote in an email.
Over the next year, village officials also plan to undertake improvements to Park Avenue and to a municipal parking lot east of Route 110 at Oak Street and Union Avenue, clerk-treasurer Dina Shingleton said.