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Pols to Look for Solutions to Rockaway Turnpike Woes

Traffic study on Hewlett triangle also incoming, according to Legislator Howard Kopel.

Rockaway Turnpike sometimes only has one light for three lanes of traffic. (Credit: Google)
Rockaway Turnpike sometimes only has one light for three lanes of traffic. (Credit: Google)

This story was originally posted on Aug. 16, 2013, at 9 a.m.

Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence) said he will soon convene a meeting with local policymakers to form solutions to the “fearsome hazard” of Rockaway Turnpike.

“We are making some progress, but it’s slow,” Kopel said. “You take a step forward, then there’s a step back.”

Kopel met with Nassau's traffic director on Wednesday to discuss its yearlong study of Rockaway Turnpike. He is specifically concerned about the part of the roadway between Brookville Boulevard and Burnside Avenue, which at times is dangerous and gets easily backed up. He said he worries about the roadway’s viability as an evacuation route.

The situation on Rockaway Turnpike is complicated by the fact that parts of the roadway are run by Nassau County, New York City and New York State.

The solutions look to go beyond small fixes such as adjusting lights and lane markers, Kopel said, which are fixed on a regular basis but are then undone. He added that they’re only “temporary band aids.”

Possible solutions include adding loops so drivers can make left turns (like in New Jersey), widening the roadway and adding movable barriers.

Meanwhile, Kopel said that he has secured county funding for a yearlong traffic study of the Hewlett triangle, where Broadway and West Broadway meet. That area is also prone to backups.

“In all these cases, these roads were built 100 years ago,” Kopel said, “and weren’t designed for what they’re doing.”
Bojames August 16, 2013 at 09:44 AM
Let him do something about the "clergy" tax abuse already. clergyexemption@gmail.com
Donna Galinsky August 16, 2013 at 10:18 AM
I'll save them a lot of money, just put the traffic lights back to the way they were about 7-8 years ago!
Jason August 16, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Too many intersections are too dangerous. Rockaway Blvd at the 5-towns shopping center has all of one light for the westbound lane. All the other poles were knocked down and never replaced. Rockaway also BADLY needs turn signals at Brookville Blvd.
dcg51 August 19, 2013 at 09:20 AM
there are two main problems at peninsula and rockaway tpke. first, coming south from queens the left lane becomes a left turn only lane from rockaway to penninsula and vehicles are always stuck in that lane and don't want to turn left, causing them to pull out in front of cars (sometimes moving very fast) into the other lane. the second problem is tractor trailers coming south on peninsula wanting to make a right turn onto rockaway tpke., have to deal with the large metal stanchion for the traffic lights being too close to the street, and not having enough room to swing the wide turn required. the solution for this is to move the stop line for the left turn lane on rockaway back about 10 ft. from its current location, which will allow these trucks to turn without holding up traffic.
Jason September 24, 2013 at 09:51 AM
Totally agree with dcg51. In addition, I believe there is one key reason to the major backups on Rockaway that stretch back into Queens. The Q113 bus stops in the right lane in front of Costco for sometimes over a minute, stopping 50% of the flow turning onto 878. This creates a domino effect all the way back to JFK during rush hour. That bus stop needs to be moved to somewhere with less of an impact.

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