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Thursday, November 27, 2014
Austin Boulevard changes set for next summer
(Page 2 of 2)
Christina Daly/Herald
Business owner Mark Milch said he likes the plan, but isn’t sure about cutting down on the number of southbound lanes.

Left turns will be limited to side streets, and no turns will be allowed from the southbound roadway to businesses on the northbound side. New crosswalks will be installed at key intersections, some with countdown clocks. Other intersections will have sidewalk “bulbouts” — extensions into the parking lane that allow pedestrians to see oncoming traffic before crossing, and decrease the distance between the sidewalk and the center median.

“We want to enhance pedestrian safety,” Lemberger said. “This is what the community asked for and, by and large, we have consensus on the changes we want to make.”

He added that a stop light will be added at the intersection of Austin and Kingston boulevards, which the community has requested for several years.

County Legislator Denise Ford, who hosted a meeting at Lincoln Orens Middle School in Island Park on Aug. 3, said she would request that the speed limit on the entire stretch of road between the Long Beach Bridge and Long Beach Road be reduced to 30 miles per hour from the present 40.

“The police can’t now give a ticket unless a motorist is driving at 50 miles per hour, and that’s just too fast,” Ford said. “Increased traffic has made this a critical situation, and I will make sure that the plan gets pushed through and implemented.”

Mark Milch, who owns Milch Photography, on Austin Boulevard, said that the road has been a “death trap” for many years and “changes have been a long time coming.” While Milch said he isn’t sure whether he approves of eliminating one southbound lane, he likes the other changes that will take place.

“It’s important that we cut the speed and get the light on Kingston Boulevard,” he said. “Those changes are critical. And we need a 30-mph speed limit and timing of the traffic lights. We’ve been asking for changes for years, and it’s about time something is finally going to be done.”

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