Put over 1000 people in a room talking about Complete Streets and we're beaming. Today, Long Island Streets members attended Vision Long Island's 16th Annual Smart Growth Summit.
The all-day conference, held at the Crest Hollow Country Club, featured Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Nassau Executive Elect Laura Curran and 65 other elected officials from all levels of government, plus a slew of professional planners, engineers, educators, private industry and not-for-profit organizations.
Workshops and issues discussed included how to maintain a healthy older population on Long Island so it’s affordable for them while also ensuring that there are opportunities for young people to take root and thrive. The attendees and guest speakers also discussed how to make Long Island a better place to live and work by revitalizing the downtown areas.
Workshop: Fixing Long Island’s Dangerous Roadways: Design Solutions for Complete Streets
The session of the day for us was Fixing Long Island’s Dangerous Roadways: Design Solutions for Complete Streets featuring a panel discussing how they are making our streets safer for all users. Speakers: Greg Del Rio, Director of Transportation Planning and Engineering for NV5’s Northeast region; Sean Sallie, Planning Division Supervisor for Nassau County Department of Public Works; Tra Vu, Technical Director of Modelling and Visualization at Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.; Michael Vitti, President of C.L.I.M.B. (Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists) and L.I.G.H.T. (Long Island Greenways and Trails); and moderator Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director of Vision LI. Brian Sapp and Imran Ansari, LI rep's for the Governor’s office spoke and received questions/ comments to bring back to the Governor.
Recap copied from the Vision Long Island newsletter:
"Greg Del Rio kicked of the panel with a variety of different projects from around Long Island. A redesign of Union Boulevard eliminates an unnecessary center turn lane and reprograms the space to create protected bike lines buffered by parallel parking. On the East Setauket Greenway, trail crossings at roads are designed to automatically signal a rapid flash rectangular beacon when hikers or cyclists approach the intersection. Other projects included a signalized, single lane underpass on River Road in Yaphank, projects in downtown Port Washington and Great Neck Plaza, and a connection to the proposed BRT on Nicolls Road. Sean Sallie described several larger projects that Nassau County is beginning for both safety and economic development and the challenge of balancing sometimes conflicting interests. In East Atlantic Beach a road diet will allow for a separate cycle track along the roadway. Grand Avenue in Baldwin will receive a road diet in the lower volume areas to allow for additional pedestrian and bicycle space. Hicksville is also about to begin a traffic study for planned revitalization near the train station. Tra Vu discussed the disconnect between the technical details and the public and demonstrated a virtual reality model that allowed a volunteer from the audience to experience some of the proposed changes to Grand Avenue in Baldwin. Comments from the viewing were entered into the model which was communicated back to the design team in real time. Michael Vitti described the desire to make trails across Long Island accessible by bike so that riders don’t need to drive their car to the trail. As an advocate, he fought for projects such as the River Road underpass seven years ago and it is now becoming reality. He also spoke about other projects such as the Motor Parkway trail, Ocean Parkway extension, and others that are in different stages of funding. Finally, he emphasized a need for a Long Island Bike/Ped coordinator to coordinate the many piecemeal projects around the island into an interconnected network that is useful for the public."