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OpinionEditorial

DOT should make LI roads a priority

Potholes along the Northern State Parkway Westbound in

Potholes along the Northern State Parkway Westbound in Roslyn on Feb. 5, 2020. Credit: Newsday/William Perlman

"Pick a road, any road on Long Island. That’s the worst one.”

That’s what one of our readers said in response to a query last month by the editorial board asking which roads in Nassau and Suffolk are in the worst condition.

Other readers, of course, got more specific. The Northern State Parkway, particularly in western Nassau County, was a popular answer. So, too, was the Oakdale Merge, a Sunrise Highway bottleneck from the Southern State Parkway to where Sunrise meets Montauk Highway. The Long Island Expressway and the Southern State Parkway won some votes, as did Routes 25A and 109.

All told, we got 110 responses to our question; everyone had something to say. Now if only the state Department of Transportation would pay attention, and act. Since DOT has not issued its own annual highway pavement and bridge conditions report since 2016, despite a memo in the previous capital plan asking it to do so, State Sen. Anna Kaplan has taken matters into her own hands, sponsoring a bill that would require DOT to release such an annual report. The analysis would not only include a look at highways and bridges across the state, but also list the DOT’s priorities, and indicate whatever progress has been made. By memo or by law, get it done. It’s an important step, so that the state can outline its priorities, and residents can judge the progress being made.

What’s really clear from Long Islanders’ responses is that the DOT’s efforts must go beyond identifying the worst thoroughfares. What they’d really like to see is the work being done; what they really want is a smoother ride. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.

— The editorial board

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