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Letters: Mangano Walk Safe program reviews

Sandi Vega holds a photograph of her daughter,

Sandi Vega holds a photograph of her daughter, Brittany, as Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano speaks about the debut of a public service video aimed at increasing safety and awareness for pedestrians crossing busy streets. (July 9, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile

County Executive Edward Mangano's Walk Safe program is a great idea ["Video promotes 'walk safe' campaign," News, July 10]. I have seen so many who do not know how to properly cross a main street, and no doubt this program will save lives.

Hempstead Turnpike is state-controlled, yet the state does nothing about the unsafe and incorrect timing of the crosswalk signs. It is not possible for a reasonably ableperson -- never mind a mother busy with children, a person in a wheelchair or a slower person -- to cross Hempstead Turnpike, at least in Levittown, with a clear sense of safety, even when following the crosswalk rules.

I have met with officials including state Department of Transportation representatives, state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), Assemb. David McDonough (R-Merrick), Assemb. Tom McKevitt (R-East Meadow) and various Nassau County police officials.

The response from the DOT representative was that the agency does not want to anger drivers by making crossing lights longer. Oh yeah, not angering drivers for a few seconds is more important than the safety of pedestrians. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Tom Caro, Levittown

Editor's note: The writer is the vice president of the Levittown Property Owners Association.

If Nassau County is serious about its Walk Safe campaign, then why hasn't the county passed a Complete Streets resolution? New York State passed this for state roadways after the tragic loss of 14-year-old Brittany Vega in Wantagh, but what is taking Nassau County Legislature so long to protect its citizens on county roads?

Just look at the rebuilding of West Shore Road along Oyster Bay Harbor. Here was a perfect opportunity to create a state-of-the-art roadway to safely accommodate walkers, bicyclists and motorized vehicles, yet what we got was far from ideal.

Complete Streets resolutions force planners to consider that roadways are for all types of transportation, and a street is not complete unless there are safe accommodations for bicycling and walking. With few or substandard shoulders on the new sections of West Shore Road, bicyclists will have to assert their rights as traffic allows.

Michael Vitti, Glen Head

Editor's note: The writer is a member of Long Island Greenways and Healthy Trails, an advocacy organization.