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Crash Could Push Project Forward

A fatal car accident on Tuesday, Aug. 19 that claimed the life of a 55-year-old man on Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park could fast-track a $250,000 Nassau County project announced last month to install traffic calming features along the road. The project would run north from Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park, south to Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont.

“The project is already ongoing and will continue to progress,” said Nassau County Department of Public Works rep Michael Martino.

Pierre Antoine, driving a 2012 Ford Fusion with is 38-year-old wife and 6-year-old daughter southbound on Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park last week, was struck by a 17-year-old driving a 2003 Toyota Camry traveling westbound on Second Avenue at 11:30 p.m. last Tuesday, Nassau County police said. Antoine’s wife was found unconscious after the accident, while the daughter suffered a fractured leg, authorities said.

According to police, the driver of the other car, Deepak Kumar, 17, of New Hyde Park, was arrested at the scene and charged with second degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while ability impaired by drugs. There were four other passengers in his car at the time of the accident. Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks.

The wife and daughter and Kumar were transported to a local hospital, their conditions are unknown as of press time.

Covert Avenue has been much debated over the last few years with numerous traffic incidents preceding Nassau County’s proposed plan. The project’s estimated start date is 2015.

The presentation in July was to provide conceptual solutions and get feedback, according to Martino. Since then, the county met with other elected officials to review the plans and garner feedback. Nassau County began engineering and surveyed the area so they can determine solutions and then will produce the engineering plans necessary for implementation and construction, Martino said.

“The concept is to install stop signs on Covert Avenue at both approaches to the train track,” Martino said. “We are evaluating the feedback we received.”

The county wants to place flashing speed indicators in the vicinity of Covert Avenue at 6th Avenue in New Hyde Park, construct sidewalk bulb-outs and lane configuration signs to alert drivers of road changes. “No Turn On Red” and “Stop Ahead” and additional stop signs are also being considered, particularly near the New Hyde Park train station tracks.

“The key recommendation is for the installation of [sidewalk bulb-outs],” said Martino. “Nassau County is surveying the area now to determine if this conceptual solution is feasible and can be engineered and implemented.”

The plan also calls for wide center medians, with side-shoulder striping to “create a channel” for cars to drive through.

“Anything would help, even if it makes noise like rubber strips along the road,” New Hyde Park resident Tom Madera, of 7th Avenue said recently. “I can assure that it doesn’t make as much noise as a screeching Cadillac which has decided to reorganize the front of your house. That happened two years ago.”