March 14, 2013 | 747 views
Completing Valley Stream’s streets
What’s the main function of a street? A popular answer for people could be “to get cars from Point A to Point B efficiently and safely.” Although that may be a good answer, some local residents would say that it’s also incomplete; the way people think about streets shouldn’t just be in regard to cars.
Valley Stream Complete Streets is a proposal that is currently being worked on by local residents Joanne Antun, Tim Lines, Ted Orosz and David Sabatino. Village Trustee Vincent Grasso initially brought Antun, the former mayor, and Sabatino, president of Envision Valley Stream, together about a year and a half ago, and they began reaching out to others and working on the Complete Streets proposal.
“Complete Streets looks at it as how does this road serve all the users,” Sabatino said, “meaning cars, mass transit, bicyclists, pedestrians, disabled people and users of all ages and abilities.”
Sabatino said that not every road in Valley Stream would have to be a “Complete Street.” It would focus more on busier roads, including those by train stations, businesses and schools.
“It’s important to encourage people to feel safe and to invite them to walk, ride, use mass transit, or even have a safer, more enjoyable car ride than what they currently have,” Sabatino said.
According to Orosz, Valley Stream already has plenty of ways for people to get around other ways than by using a car, but there’s not much cycling or walking to get around the village as of now.
“The sidewalks are there, the parks are there” Orosz said. “There are ways to complete these trips on foot, or on bike, on a skateboard, or whatever. The infrastructure is there, it’s just about getting people to think about using it.”
Some of the features of a Complete Street are bike lanes, better marked crosswalks, pedestrian islands in the middle and road strips, which alert drivers about a reduction in the speed limit.
One aspect of the proposal is a green component that looks at areas where pavement and concrete can be removed and replaced with grass and other plantings. Sabatino said adding more greenery helps with storm water management, trapping litter before it gets into roadways and making areas look more attractive.