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County DPW begins traffic study of Nassau Boulevard

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For almost 20 years, Garden City South residents have been asking Nassau County and Town of Hempstead officials to make Nassau Boulevard safer for pedestrians trying to shop at local businesses, and last year, they finally got a crosswalk installed. Now, the Nassau County Department of Public Works is also studying the traffic flow on the two-way road.

There are no traffic signals between Cambridge and Terrace Avenues, she explained, and as a result, a driver who is able to pass through one green light could pass through the other. As a result, Marge Kelly, president of the Community League of Garden City South, said, when pedestrians try to cross the street from the parking lots on the northbound side to the businesses on the southbound side, “it’s like a game of Frogger.”

To make the situation worse, she added, young children often have to cross that street to get to the Garden City Dance Studio.

She pointed these issues out to Assemblyman Ed Ra, Town of Hempstead Councilman Tom Muscarella, a representative from County Legislator Laura Schaefer’s office and town Highway Department officials on what she describes as the hottest day of July 2019, when she led them down Nassau Boulevard from Terrace Avenue to Princeton Road.

On the tour, Ra said he noticed a lot of people were crossing the street, and proceeded to work with Shaefer to secure funding for a crosswalk on the boulevard. It was installed back in January, with flashing lights to alert drivers of passing pedestrians installed in April, as officials and residents alike waited for the Department of Public Works to begin its traffic study.

“It needed something,” Schaefer, a Republican from Westbury who commissioned the study in 2018, told the Herald in April. “It’s a well-traveled road.”

Finally, Community League members noticed on Nov. 19 that DPW crews have installed devices between Cambridge Avenue and 7th Street to monitor the volume and speed of traffic on the boulevard. “We were really happy,” she said of the sight, noting that the DPW will analyze the traffic flow data to determine whether it would be better to install additional crosswalks or traffic lights to make the road safer for pedestrians. It will take a few months to complete.

“There just needs to be something else for safety,” she said.