Danger at Exit 13
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She pointed out that sidewalks in the area are not continuous. On the east side of Central Avenue, she explained, a pedestrian walking north actually has to walk into the exit ramp to continue on Central Avenue.
“A pedestrian and a highway off-ramp do not mix,” Solages said. “It just takes simple engineering to fix. New York state has some of the brightest engineers.”
Karin Mozawalla, trustee of Masjid Hamza, the Islamic Center of the South Shore, which hosts the Friday-afternoon services, said he has serious concerns about the intersection. The mosque is on Stuart Avenue, just a few hundred feet away.
Tarek’s family belongs to the mosque, and Mozawalla said that members are hoping for his recovery. “They don’t know what the future is going to be for him,” he said. “We’re very concerned.”
He noted that many people have moved to the area to be near the mosque, so they walk to services. Typical Friday services draw between 400 and 500 people. Mozawalla said he is concerned for the safety not only of his members, but of all of the people in the community who walk through that area.
At his urging, and with the help of County Legislator Carrié Solages, Michaelle’s brother, Nassau County has stationed a crossing guard there for an hour on Fridays. But the area is a danger around the clock, Mozawalla said, with a mix of traffic entering and exiting the parkway, local traffic, and pedestrians — and cars coming from Linden Boulevard must do a full U-turn at the intersection of Central and Stuart avenues to get to the eastbound parkway. “The entity that’s the most vulnerable is the pedestrians,” Mozawalla said.
Legislator Solages said that in addition to the crossing guard, he has ordered a traffic study to be done by the county. “My primary obligation as a legislator is to make sure that county roads are safe,” he said. “I care about our children and the well-being of our citizens.”
He added that he has also requested that the Town of Hempstead construct speed bumps in the area. A spokesman for the town said there is no official request on record, and the state generally advises against speed bumps on roads.