Karen Neillands of Huntington Harbor called the Community Watchdog because...

Karen Neillands of Huntington Harbor called the Community Watchdog because she's concerned about water that collects along the shoulder of West Shore Road. (June 21, 2010) Credit: Newsday/Gwen Young

I've been having a problem with water that collects along the front of my property on West Shore Road and it never goes away. Even during very dry spells, there's standing water on the shoulder. Cars and trucks that pull off the side of the road have made a muddy mess because of the problem. There's a constant stream of water, but I can't tell where it's coming from and I think it's causing erosion that will eventually be a problem for the road, which is next to the harbor. I was investigating how bad the problem is and the area is so saturated, I sunk in and was nearly up to my knees in mud.

- Karen Neillands, Huntington

Town of Huntington Highway Superintendent William Naughton inspected the area after our call and agrees there's a problem. The water seems to be collecting because the shoulder is lower than the road, he said.

First, his workers will make sure the catch basin is cleaned and working properly. "We're going to make sure that we put berms up so the water gets to the catch basin," Naughton said. "Whatever needs to be done, we'll do that," within certain limitations.

There are restrictions on how much his department can do. "We can't do anything different, other than what's existing" because of state Department of Environmental Conservation regulations, he said. For instance, if the highway department wants to install a new drainage system, the town must apply for DEC permits that could take years for approval.

Residents with drainage concerns on Huntington Town roads should call the highway department at 631-351-3076.

I live on a road filled with holes, cracks and patches that make it very bumpy and uneven. Children have fallen off their bikes and scooters and tripped while walking to the school bus due to huge openings on the road surface. In February, 10 neighbors and I sent identical letters to the Town of Islip about the road condition, but I didn't receive a response.

- Donna Werner, Ronkonkoma

The road's bumpy days are numbered, we're told.

Public Works Deputy Commissioner Fred Hoeffner agrees that Granby Place warrants fixing and said the roughly 700-foot-long road is slated to be repaved this month. It was on the town's 2010 paving list before our call, he said.

Hoeffner added that a neighborhood-wide petition or a letter-writing campaign similar to the one coordinated by Werner helps call the department's attention to a particular road or traffic problem. But ultimately, he said, "It's a road's condition that prevails."

Town of Islip residents with concerns about town roads should call 631-224-5610.

- Michael R. Ebert

Many maps incorrectly show a way to cut through our dead-end street to reach an industrial area in Lindenhurst. At least once a day an 18-wheeler has to use our lawns to turn around because the driver has no way to exit. Last year, a truck ripped the wires out of my neighbor's house. We have called and written the Town of Babylon for several years about this problem.

- Helen Kabaservice, West Babylon

A new sign prohibiting truck traffic except for local deliveries will be installed in a few weeks to replace one that apparently went missing.

Town spokesman Tim Ruggeri said that Muncy Avenue is already off-limits to trucks and previously there was a sign indicating this at the intersection of Great East Neck Road. However, at some point the sign was knocked down - likely as the result of an accident - and not replaced, he said.

In addition, the town's traffic safety division visited Muncy several times this past spring as a result of our inquiry to assess the road's daily traffic patterns. While no trucks were observed, the town asked Suffolk's First Precinct for increased police patrols on Muncy.

Anna Marie Jones, the town's planning and development commissioner, offered a possible reason why there's an increase in truck traffic on Muncy: More drivers using GPS systems. "The GPS data may not show Muncy Avenue as a dead-end street," she said, "so the systems may be suggesting that truck drivers use the street to access the industrial area."

Town of Babylon residents with concerns about truck traffic on residential roads should call 631-957-7414.

- Michael R. Ebert