Suffolk County officials have plans to unveil a series of suggested changes to Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset on Thursday night.
Suffolk County Department of Public Works and Suffolk Legis. John Kennedy, Jr., R-Nesconset, will unveil three alternative designs for Smithtown Boulevard/CR-16 focusing on improving its safety at the from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.
"Smithtown Boulevard, if you think about it, is one of the heaviest traveled alternatives to the expressway and Sunrise Highway," Kennedy said. "There have been a number of serious motor vehicle accidents over the years, including fatalities."
The RBA Group, an engineering firm hired to conduct a three-year traffic study by Suffolk County Department of Public Works, found there were 32 accidents on Smithtown Boulevard over the three-year student from January 2007 to December 2009. There were 10 accidents at the Terry Road intersection, 11 at Gilbert Avenue/Sheppard Lane, eight at Sheppard Land and three at Mayfair Road.
"Clearly we've got a section of road that has a higher than average rate of incidents for motorists, so what can we do" Kennedy said.
Accidents near the Gilbert Avenue/Sheppard Lane intersection were caused by curvature of the roadway and traffic in and out of the 7-Eleven's driveway, according to RBA Group's findings. Other factors found to cause the high accident rate included excessive speed and driver inattention.
On Thursday, Bill Hillman, the chief engineer of the county's Department of Public Works, with RBA representatives will present three design to improve safety of Smithtown Boulevard at Gilbert Avenue/Sheppard Lane and one for the Mayfair Road intersection. The potential changes include a raised, 4-foot high median; a raised, 8-foot wide median with left turning lanes; and a roundabout. The suggested changes for the Mayfair Road intersection include a 8-foot high median, restriping of the road and closure of the shopping center driveway.
Following the presentation, residents and business owners will have the chance to ask questions and voice general concerns about traffic on Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset.
"We are not limiting comments to this [Gilbert Avenue] intersection. Public Works has agree to hear nad take into account comments on other parts of the road if residents have things they want to share," Kennedy said.
The legislator said he's had discussions with civic associations about the safety of Old Nichols Road where it crosses Smithtown Boulevard. Suffolk County Legislature has already expandedonce at the June 7, 2011 meetings.