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.”