Driving on the Long Island Expressway has at some spots become like an off-road event, secondary roads have huge potholes and residential streets are crumbling. Why? Every year, we watch the state, county and towns pave roads and highways as if in a continuous loop. Some blame the weather, but I’ve traveled all over the world and have seen Long Island roads temporarily fixed by the lowest bidders instead of being repaired for good. It’s time to stop removing the top 1 1⁄2 inches and replacing it with something that looks OK for six months. Start over, look at Germany’s Autobahn and Toronto’s highways, and then issue bonds to finally fix the roads correctly.
It’s stressful going for my cancer treatment without the added stress of navigating the LIE. I see the road as an absolute disaster. Cars are on the side with blown-out tires, and I see more accidents. Potholes seem to be the size of craters.
Albany must act to keep laborers safe
Members of Local 1298 of the Road and Heavy Construction Laborers union who perform essential roadwork to keep Long Island running, to me, are the best people for the job. They’ve been trained to do it right and safely — protecting themselves, their fellow highway workers and drivers.
The issue here? Outside factors that endanger them: speeding or distracted drivers who won’t put down a cellphone.
Accidents and fatalities in work zones have risen over the past decade. But there’s an easy solution: work-zone speed cameras that catch dangerous drivers, who then are fined. Implementing a work-zone speed-camera program isn’t a new concept. Several states have done it, and each one had reduced speeding and reckless driving. New York has to play catch-up.
However, our elected officials can include a work-zone speed-camera demonstration program in the state budget. Saving lives isn’t a partisan issue. It’s not even a union-specific issue.
We’re talking about human decency — a common-sense solution that can protect New Yorkers and help ensure people return home to their loved ones at the end of the day. Who would oppose that? Albany must act now.
George S. Truicko Jr.,
Editor’s note: The writer is a business manager for laborers Local 1298.