As one of Long Island’s most heavily traveled roads, a fatality occurs every other month on the Southern State Parkway.
Merrick, NY - March 27, 2017 - In an effort to increase driver safety and save lives, Senator John Brooks and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages today unveiled legislation (S.4541/A.6921) that directs the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to conduct a study of the Southern State Parkway.
As one of Long Island’s most heavily traveled roads, a fatality occurs every other month on the Southern State Parkway largely due to antiquated exit and entrance ramps and poor signage. This legislation seeks to identify solutions and correct these problems to prevent collisions and the instances of wrong-way drivers on the Southern State Parkway. This study would evaluate design and safety of entrance and exit ramps and the visibility of signage, while identifying federal funding that may be available for highway safety improvements.
“Far too many lives have been lost on the Southern State Parkway,” said Senator Brooks, standing outside of the North Merrick Fire Department. “The configuration of ramps and signs on the parkway pose a serious risk to drivers, and a study is needed in order to assess these problems so that we can modernize and upgrade the parkway.”
“Many fatal accidents have occurred on the Southern State Parkway in Nassau and Suffolk counties due to its outdated engineering,” stated Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages. “In order to increase driver safety and save lives, New York State must take a comprehensive approach to the Southern State parkway. This legislation addresses this issue by conducting a study with the intention of updating the design and configuration of signage.”
The design of the Southern State Parkway has remained largely unchanged since the first section of the parkway opened in 1927. Outdated engineering and configuration of entrance and exit ramps and their corresponding signage have made the Southern State Parkway one of the deadliest highways on Long Island. A recent 2016 study by the New York State Department of Transportation found that within a 5-year span, over 10,500 accidents occurred on the Southern State Parkway, over 3,000 of which involved injury, and 32 fatal.
Senator Brooks added, “All Long Islanders and their families should have the assurance that they are safe when traveling on our roads.”