The Rules Committee of the Nassau County Legislature approved unanimously Monday the hiring of Nelson & Pope Engineers & Surveyors to conduct a new traffic study on Roslyn Road.
Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury), said the study is a “design contract,” meaning there will be no construction to Roslyn Road until after the study has been completed and members of the community have an opportunity to express their views.
“[We want] to design the road to make it a safer roadway for everybody,” Jacobs said. “[We want to] let the people know what is on the drawing board.”
In an e-mail last week, Jacobs said “[the] study will include police reports on the accidents, alignments of the road, lane widths [and] history of past accidents at Locust Lane and Roslyn Road.”
“Once [Nelson & Pope’s] report is completed, they will report their findings to the Department of Public Works,” she said. “Department of Public works, in turn, will share with us, as legislators, the recommendations [Nelson & Pope] suggests. In turn, these suggestions will be shared with the community which includes the East Williston School District, the [Temple Sinai and Temple Beth Sholom] and the Holiday Farms shopping strip.”
“The bottom line is that, right now, we are only talking about design suggestions which will then be discussed and shared with the community before any final decisions are made,” Jacobs said.
In an interview with Blank Slate Media, Jacobs said in late October that the final phase of the Roslyn Road improvement has been completed and she was hopeful that it will be heard and voted on by the Rules Committee at the meeting of the Nassau County Legislature on Oct. 29.
She said at the time that the changes would condense Roslyn Road from I.U. Willets Road to the Long Island Expressway Service Road from four lanes to two — one in each direction.
The cutoff for Locust Lane would also be eliminated. Jacobs said drivers would have the ability to “stack up” and make a normal right turn with the help of a traffic a light.
Last week, East Williston school board President Mark Kamberg said a plan by the county to narrow Roslyn Road from four lanes to two from the south service road of the Long Island Expressway to south of I.U. Willets Road had been put on hold.
At the board’s regularly scheduled meeting, Kamberg said the district was promised they would be able to see the results of a traffic study before the project would move forward.
East Williston school trustees raised concerns about Jacobs’ comments at a subsequent board meeting and criticized the county for having to learn about the proposal in a story that appeared in the Williston Times.
The district then sent a letter to Jacobs, calling for the county to present the study of traffic patterns that led to the proposal that Roslyn Road be narrowed before any changes are made.
In the one-page letter signed by Kamberg and the four other school trustees, the board said they wanted “to further understand the traffic volume during the hours of a school day, in order to fully understand what kind of traffic back-ups there will be as a result of buses making numerous stops and starts along a proposed one lane in each direction [on] Roslyn Road.”
The East Williston school trustees said they believed lesser changes could alleviate the problem and called on the county to consult with the board before moving ahead with any changes to the roadway.
Officials from Temple Sinai and Temple Beth Sholom joined the East Williston Board of Education in expressing concern about to the proposed changes to traffic patterns on Roslyn Road.
Temple officials said traffic could not be handled if Roslyn Road was narrowed from two lanes in each direction to one.
Last week, Kamberg clarified his comment from the meeting, saying his concerns related only to the narrowing of the roadway from four lanes to two — not the entire project.
Kamberg said the disrict was under the impression that the county was going to move forward with the with the project without allowing for input from the community.
But, Kamberg said he has been in contact with Jacobs by email, and he is happy with the direction the project is progressing.
Town and county officials have been seeking to improve safety on Roslyn Road following a series of accidents on the stretch of the roadway from the south Service Road to south of I.U. Willets Road.
In March 2014, Mineola teenagers Steven Clancy and Javier Gonzalez, both 19, were killed when they drove through the fence and into the backyard of the home of Dr. Ronald Rosen at 66 Oak Lane in Roslyn Heights.
The teenagers hit a tree and were killed as they were ejected from their 2004 Volkswagen Jetta.
Less than a month later, in April 2014, 43-year-old Facundo R. Ponce died when he lost control of his 2006 Dodge Dakota pickup truck and crashed into a charter bus near the corner of Roslyn Road and Heathcote Drive.
The accident injured the bus driver and a passenger.
In mid October 2013, a motorist who was allegedly inebriated crashed through side fence of Rosen’s home and totaled a car parked in the driveway.