Correcting misconceptions about Merrick and Ocean
To the Editor:
Recent Nassau County legislative and Lynbrook village newsletters have incorrectly categorized the history of the redevelopment of the intersection of Merrick Road and Ocean Avenue in Lynbrook. I am writing to correct the public record on this hazardous intersection, which I traversed for more than 40 years at least four times a day.
One year there was a record high of 62 intersection accidents, including one involving an East Rockaway fire chief who was responding with lights and siren to an emergency call. I worked with former County Legislator Fran Becker in trying to get the county to address the need to upgrade a 50-year-old traffic light signal system by increasing the left-turn lane to two lanes on southbound Ocean and adding one on the northbound side, and adding crosswalk countdown clocks in the intersection.
None of this would have been possible, however, had I not solicited a Safe Streets grant for more than $3 million. Then I had the Nassau County Planning Commission, of which I am a member, successfully pursue the grant application. After years of waiting for the construction to start, the county awarded the contract to a contractor who defaulted and went bankrupt. The bonding company picked the current contractor, who seems to be doing an exceptional job.
Before the contractor could start, it took a year and a half because the four utilities — water, electric, cable and gas — had to be relocated in anticipation of the construction. I hope the construction will conclude on or around Labor Day, and I look forward to appropriate recognition at that time, and to be invited to a photo opportunity by the local legislators, Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach and former Legislator Fran Becker.
Jeff Greenfield, Rockville Centre