NYSDOT Making Strides on Safe Seniors Program in Smithtown

By chance, MTR passed through Main Street in Smithtown last week and was greeted with a welcome surprise — safety improvements being undertaken as part of NYSDOT’s Safe Seniors pilot program are underway.

New pedestrian amenities being installed on Main Street in Smithtown.

A fence, both decorative and utilitarian, has been installed to prevent mid-block crossing, and new Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant pedestrian amenities and signage are being installed.

Fencing has been installed to prevent mid-block crossing.

Safe Seniors, which was announced in  response to a TSTC pedestrian safety report in 2008, remains a pilot program. But a 2009 review of NYSDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, from which the program is funded, indicated the program would be expanded beyond Smithtown and Hempstead Turnpike, to five other locations throughout the state.  While the hope for the Safe Seniors program is to be more capital intensive in the future, the program is a good example of how DOTs can be flexible with their operational funding streams to support pedestrian safety and community building.

8 Comments on "NYSDOT Making Strides on Safe Seniors Program in Smithtown"

  1. Robert Noland | November 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm |

    I’m a bit surprised to see TSTC supporting the restriction of pedestrian movement. In the UK, policy has moved to removing guardrails of this type. While the roadscape may be different, evaluation of the removal at So. Kensington has shown safety improvements.

    More effective measures would provide safe crossing points for the senior citizens and slow the traffic along what looks to be a high speed route.

  2. Until the NYSDOT changes the walk/don’t walk signals to work without the press of the button these intersections will not be safe. People are used to how it works in NYC (automatically). I have seen countless people not push the button, thus not getting a walk sign when they should, and then crossing after the period in which they should have in frustration.

  3. Now can we get the DOT to time the lights so you don’t hit red lights at NY Ave., Maple, Elm, Landing & 25A all in the same drive through town?
    Also, when you wait to turn while there’s a pedestrian in the crosswalk, you’re green light changes back to red before you can get through the intersection. Tough for the cars behind you.

  4. How is building an imposing pedestrian barricade along Main Street considered an improvement?

  5. The black fence ensures that pedestrians will cross at designated crosswalks only, not scurrying across the state road mid-block.

  6. I concur with the professor in the first post. That fence effectively cuts the width of the sidewalk in half and strands pedestrians that may be exiting a car or coming from a destination from across the street (I’ve never been there so I’m assuming there is a fence on the other side).

    A typical “stick” approach to pedestrian safety. Where are the “carrots”! A bare minimum crosswalk installation doesn’t qualify in my book.

  7. Oh yeah.

    And when a box truck backs into a spot in that parking lot it will entirely close the sidewalk to pedestrians with that fence in the way.

  8. Why doesn’t the Waldbaums shopping center next door (on Rt 25) have a fence? Is it okay for seniors to cross mid-block there or are we waiting for a car to hit someone there first?

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