The safety of pedestrians around the Stony Brook train station is a rising issue for members of the Three Village Civic Association, who believe traffic in that area is especially heavy due to commutes to the university and the hospital, and say there is a need for more sidewalks and crosswalks.
Shawn Nuzzo, president of the Three Village Civic Association, said that change is necessary.
“One problem is that the university has grown quickly to a world renowned institution, but the infrastructure of the host community is lacking,” Nuzzo said.
He said that the area on Route 25A by the train station is very dangerous for pedestrians, as well as cyclists and motorists. Nuzzo said that Long Island was “fully designed for vehicles” and the lack of sidewalks is a big issue as well.
Students and pedestrians used to be forced to walk on the shoulder of Nicolls Road and Route 25A. Two years ago, a sidewalk was put in at the intersection of these roads, but it was done with no input from the community. Although it is better than nothing, it would have been better if the area’s pedestrians could have had a say in it, Nuzzo said.
The Three Village Civic Association as well as other local organizations are working to fix these problems. They have been in the process for years, attempting to make more areas more pedestrian-friendly.
“Real change will come when the roads are redeveloped, since signs of speed limits don’t do much to keep drivers from speeding,” Nuzzo explained.
The faster a car is going, the higher the chance of a pedestrian dying in an accident. Tactics like narrower roads and tree lined medians will cause those behind the wheel to drive slower, Nuzzo said.
“When we want to cross the street to get to like from the train station to the other side of the street to 7/11 or Dunkin [Donuts], we have to wait a really long time,” said Jacqueline Huang, a graduate student earning her MBA degree in human resources who commutes on the Long Island Rail Road daily.
She said that sometimes she has to jaywalk, risking getting hit by a car. She also said she does not think there are enough crosswalks or stop signs.
Bruce Redden, a deputy chief of police for Stony Brook University, said that the area around the Stony Brook train station is not necessarily dangerous for pedestrians.
“We have an officer that we keep out there in that area to make sure everything is safe,” Redden said.
He also said that they watch the crosswalks and stop people who drive through stop signs. When asked what could be done to change these issues, he said that it is mostly out of their hands, although they do work with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Suffolk County.