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Friday, August 1, 2014
How will a major Baldwin street become complete?
Traffic study slated for Grand Avenue
Brian Croce/Herald
Sean Sallie, a Nassau County planner, told residents that a traffic study for Grand Avenue will begin in the fall.

The ball got rolling last summer, when Nassau County selected Baldwin as one of three South Shore communities to be subjects of a federally funded study exploring ways to promote development surrounding Long Island Rail Road stations.

That study is now complete, and months of feedback from community members and input from the Baldwin Civic Association, which partnered with the county on the project, led to the suggestion of yet another study: Beginning in September, a yet-to-be-determined firm will look into reducing the traffic on a 1.4-mile stretch of Grand Avenue, from Stanton Avenue to Merrick Road.

On June 12, Sean Sallie, a senior county planner, and Aryeh Lemberger, the county’s unit head of traffic engineering, gave a project update to the community and members of the BCA. The traffic study will look at ways to increase walking opportunities, improve pedestrian safety and foster an attractive environment for businesses and residents. Sallie said that complete streets accommodate all users of a road, including cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and mass transit riders.

County planners are developing the scope of the study now, and a request for proposals is expected to go out in the coming weeks, Sallie said, adding that funding for the project has already been secured. In March, the county requested money to be earmarked for it by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Committee, which allocates money from the federal government.

The county will pay for the study, Sallie explained, and be reimbursed by the NYMTC. He declined to estimate the project’s budget because it hasn’t gone out to bid yet. “We’re happy to see this project, this initiative moving forward,” he said.

Although the firm that will conduct the study will be hired over the summer, the study won’t get under way until school is back in session, so more accurate vehicle counts can be made.

Researchers will be at various points on Grand Avenue during peak traffic periods, counting vehicles, observing pedestrian movement and studying traffic buildup or unsafe conditions.

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