There was a horrific accident on the Southern State Parkway near Exit 23 in North Merrick ["2 dead, 3 critical in crash," News, Jan. 28]. It should be noted that the entire strip between Exits 22 and 23 serves as both an on- and off-ramp to the Meadowbrook Parkway, making things a bit dicey.

As I was getting onto the parkway on a recent Monday at about 7 p.m., there were no fewer than 12 cars parked on the shoulder at this location to set up a shrine to the dead. This made getting on and off the parkway precarious and caused a small traffic jam.

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The next day at 5 p.m., there were another two cars at this scene on the shoulder, where their drivers were presumably paying their respects.

We see more and more shrines on highways in the region. With all due respect to the families and friends of those who lost their lives, the roadside is not the place to set up a shrine or to go for remembrance.

While I am heartbroken by the loss of life, I must contend that these roads are no place to set up memorials, and drivers' safety should be fortified by the elimination of all shrines on our highways.

Mitchell S. Todd, North Merrick