Reduced Speed Will Help Keep Residents, Motorists Safe
Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, concerned that ‘life in the fast lane’ is putting pedestrians and motorists in danger, will be proposing to the Hempstead Town Board that the speed limit of Austin Boulevard in Island Park be lowered from 40 m.p.h.to 30 m.p.h. The Councilman noted that this adjustment is particularly important since many students need to cross this busy thoroughfare to reach Island Park Schools. The Councilman was joined by Superintendent of Island Park Schools Rosmarie Bovino, Island Park School Board members, Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford and Deputy Commanding Officer Tara Comiskey, of the Nassau County Police Department’s Fourth Precinct, as he made the announcement.
“I want to put the brakes on speeding down Austin Boulevard,” noted D’Esposito. “Our neighbors are being injured and killed at an alarming rate on this busy road and we want to slow things down to prevent further tragedies.”
Austin Boulevard has been the site of many accidents, including half a dozen fatal ones over the last 10 years. The roadway averages more than 100 accidents a year. In fact, a woman was critically injured by an SUV as she attempted to cross Austin Boulevard in December. This was following three other pedestrian accidents crossing Austin Boulevard in 2017. In 2016 seven pedestrians were injured crossing the busy thoroughfare.
Councilman D’Esposito’s proposal, which, on February 20th will be called for a March 6th Town Board hearing, would implement a 30mph speed limit for the entire length of Austin Boulevard in Island Park.
Though the road is owned by Nassau County, Hempstead Town has jurisdiction over the implementation or modification of the speed limit on the roadway. The Nassau County Department of Public Works and Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford have given their full support to the proposal as has the Island Park School Board. The Island Park Board of Education, at their December meeting unanimously adopted a resolution stating that they supported the speed limit reduction to 30 m.p.h., “to better protect the safety and well-being of its students and residents. Stop signs and traffic lights have been installed but have proven to be ineffective. Lowering the speed limit to 30 m.p.h., as was just initiated on Lido Boulevard in Long Beach, will help in correcting the danger.”
“Drivers seem to believe they will not be subject to speeding tickets if they travel up to 10 mile per hour above the speed limit, additionally, Austin Boulevard is a straight roadway making it even easier for drivers to speed, causing unsafe conditions,” noted Legislator Ford.
“As a law enforcement agency, our main concern and primary goal is always for the safety and well-being of the residents of Nassau County. If a reduction of speed is necessary to ensure safety and is enacted by law, we will enforce all laws that will pertain to this roadway,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
“This new speed limit would create a safer and smoother flow of traffic along Austin Boulevard,” concluded Councilman D’Esposito. “We want to be sure that drivers ‘throttle back as they traverse this busy stretch so neighbors can rest assured that motorists will be traveling at a safe speed as they travel to and from Long Beach.”