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Barstow Road/North Station Plaza Traffic Calming Project Approved

After considering comments made at a public information meeting held on April 15 and a subsequent written comment period, the board of trustees of the Village of Great Neck Plaza recently approved the final plan for a traffic calming project for Barstow Road/North Station Plaza, and Linden Place. This is the fourth Local Safe Streets and Traffic Calming (LSSTC) grant obtained by the Plaza from the New York State Department of Transportation.

Unlike the modern roundabout constructed in 2003 (the village’s first completed LSSTC grant project) on Barstow Road on the south end of the street, this project on the north side of Barstow Road near Grace Avenue calls for “normalizing” the geometry of the intersection with median islands, sidewalk bulb-outs, pedestrians refuge areas, and generally more visible pedestrian crossings. A complementary roundabout was initially considered, but the roadway geometrics did not allow for a modern roundabout configuration.

Existing problems exhibited at this intersection were explained by Albert Dawson, principal of L.K. McLean Associates P.C., the village’s engineering design consultant at the April 15 meeting. Copies of that plan and the PowerPoint presentation are available for public inspection on the village’s website at www.greatneckplaza.net. The engineering studies have pointed out that the intersection has irregular geometry of the approaches making unconventional vehicle movements, wide crossings for pedestrians and numerous conflict points for vehicles and pedestrians. The sheer volume of activity generated from the railroad station during current rush hour periods makes these crossings particularly difficult at present.

The proposed design changes approved in the plan will help to “normalize” the intersection by seeking to address in this reconstruction, as follows:

Reducing the skew of the geometry

Creating sidewalk bulb-outs to slow vehicles and reduce the length of pedestrian crossings

Creating median islands at approaches which serve to slow vehicles and provide pedestrians with refuge

Creating highly visible crosswalks to make motorists more aware of pedestrians.

There are additional features of the approved plan, such as all existing on-street parking will be retained. The intersection will be enhanced with streetscaping, including landscaping in the bulb-out areas and improved lighting will be installed. The roadway pavement will be rehabilitated with an asphalt overlay and new pavement markings. The construction will include mountable medians with pedestrian refuge areas, 4-feet wide, which will be physical and visual barriers to align motorists, similar to median improvements constructed last summer on Great Neck Road.

Public comments made at the April 15 meeting, including those from Chairman Daniel Wotman and several members of the village’s Resident Parking and Pedestrian Safety Committee, were incorporated into the revised plan, such as adjusting the configuration to accommodate a better left turn entrance from Barstow Road and North Station Plaza into the Great Neck Park District commuter lot, and moving the northerly crosswalk on Barstow Road near Colbeh Restaurant further south to better square up the intersection.

The construction budget is a total of $212,800 with a federal share of $170,240, and a Village local contribution of $42,560. The total grant, including scoping, design and construction is $280,000. Construction is expected to commence in the fall of 2009 and be finished by Nov. 2009.