On our minds: Trials of Long Island roads


Newsday's editorial board spends all week striving to be a reasoned and pragmatic voice for Long Island and its values through our editorials and columns. We debate local, national and international issues and write on those we think will impact our readers.

Some topics come up that don't turn into longer pieces, but are part of the national conversation and worth bringing up. Here's how we're telling you about them.

Pedestrians and drivers can save lives

142 -- That's the number of pedestrians older
(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)

142 -- That's the number of pedestrians older than 60 killed in Nassau County between 2003 and 2012. A new state study released last week puts Nassau second, behind only Manhattan, on the list of downstate counties where older residents are most likely to be hit crossing a street. On Long Island, Nassau has many bustling downtown business districts and dangerous roads, like Hempstead Turnpike and Sunrise Highway. Traffic safety improvements can always be made, but pedestrians and drivers must get smarter, too.

Smithtown will be watching Sonic

Now the ball is in Sonic's drive-up stall.
(Credit: AP / Sue Ogrocki)

Now the ball is in Sonic's drive-up stall. The Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals decided last week to let the national fast-food chain open a restaurant at Middle Country Road and Alexander Avenue in Nesconset. The decision came after a bitter fight that pitted Sonic franchisees against residents behind the restaurant site.

The zoning board originally ruled against the business, but the owners sued and a state Supreme Court judge annulled the rejection. In return for permission to open, the owners agreed to modify the restaurant, reduce signage, plant a buffer and install a fence. Only a few of the restaurant's loudspeakers will be used at a time and exits on the side street will be right-turn-only to limit traffic trouble. To earn the respect of wary residents, Sonic needs to fulfill its pledge to be a good neighbor.

A milestone for Elwood housing proposal

It's been a long slog, but it looks
(Credit: Robert M. Swedroe Architects and Planners)

It's been a long slog, but it looks like The Seasons at Elwood finally is going to get its green light. The Huntington Town Board is expected to vote Tuesday on the controversial senior housing complex and it appears that the project will be approved.

That's the right move.

Neither developer nor critics got all that they wanted. But Town Supervisor Frank Petrone cut through the objections -- some reasonable, some not -- and made sure each side got enough to make the deal palatable.

The development will help meet an urgent need on Long Island for housing for seniors. Its 256 condominiums will be snatched up as soon as they are available. And then we can move on to the next donnybrook over the next housing proposal. Why does it have to be this hard?



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