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Bellone: Long Island Needs Easier, Safer Travel

County executive cites need for transportation solutions to connect communities during a summit in Farmingdale.

County Executive Steve Bellone delivers keynote speech at Complete Streets summit in Farmingdale. Credit: Courtesy Photo
County Executive Steve Bellone delivers keynote speech at Complete Streets summit in Farmingdale. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Public  transportation, roadway safety and connecting Long Island communities are vital on Long Island, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said during a keynote speech Thursday at the second annual Complete Streets summit.

Bellone addressed nearly 130 leaders from transportation groups, non-profit organizations, municipalities and developers at the conference, held at Molloy College.

He said his Connect-LI plan would connect universities and downtowns through public transportation on major north-south corridors and create opportunities for innovation, which would help stop the exodus of Suffolk County residents. The program also emphasizes walkable downtowns, rail and bus service and economic development.

“We need to make it easier and safer for people to travel around Suffolk County, for our young people and to strengthen the economy,” Bellone noted. “At the same time, we must make drivers more aware of others, including non-motorists, who are on the roads.” 

Two groups of industry experts give presentations, one on the implementation of Complete Streets, and a second group spoke on design and regulation.

Lavena Sipes, mother of Courtney Sipes, who was 11 when she was killed by a car on Main Street in Smithtown, was also a keynote speaker.

“Counties, towns and municipalities throughout Long Island have embraced Complete Streets principles in the past few years,” said Ryan Lynch, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a non-profit policy watchdog working in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. 

“But now is the time to move beyond concepts and build upon existing projects and implement new projects that not only spur economic development, protect our environment and improve quality of life, but also save lives in the process,” he added.

Bellone also addressed highway safety in a talk Saturday with members of a motorcycle organization who asked motorists to pay attention to others sharing the road. ABATE – American Bikers for Awareness, Training & Education – gathered to underscore the need for drivers to watch for motorcyclists, especially during lane changes and turns. 

Bryan Rivera April 09, 2014 at 02:47 PM
It's funny, 347/25a used to have roundabouts that were removed for more efficient lighted intersections decades ago. Now those intersections, like 347/112, are being removed for the second time in three years to use jug handles. Who keeps voting for these people? Are they simply getting elected because of widespread apathy or are we truly just screwed no matter how we vote? I don't count because I actually vote for Ron Paul in every election, for every position, from student council president to dictator of the world.
GLENN April 09, 2014 at 08:34 PM
How about going after the tractor trailer drivers, many of them drive too fast and there trucks are so loud.
Archie Bunker April 09, 2014 at 11:23 PM
Glenn. Everyone drives way to fast and are always in a rush. Throw texting in there and it gets even better
the baby April 10, 2014 at 06:50 AM
I don't understand why there are no north-south routes out here like NY135/SOB expressway, with no freakin' traffic lights every 100 feet. Take Route 51, which travels mostly through farmland, from Moriches to Riverhead and you will stop at lights, where there is one lone car making a turn. Huh? Yeah, at 55 or 60 mph, slam on the brakes! I lived in Nassau County many years and could easily get from Merrick Rd. to Jericho Tpk. in about 20 minutes. Try that here. SOL.
brookhavenconfucius April 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM
THE CORRUPTION IN THIS AREA, IS EXTENSIVE. FOR EXAMPLE, You have Town Traffic Dept. management employees...PUBLIC EMPLOYEES... 'moonlighting' as consultants with private, traffic design firms...IN PLAIN SIGHT ! And when you make a complaint to the Town about a politically connnected, local business, who contributes to traffic violations, say, and the Town employee alerts the violators to 'back off' for a few days, until the heat cools down, and then it's business as usual. BELIEVE ME, THEY RUN AWAY, when you confront them about it...but that's all that happens...back to bu$ine$$ as U$ual !

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