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County, state officials tour Southern State Exit 13

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Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages led Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Legislator Carrié Solages, Deputy Commissioner of Public Works Joe Pecora and New York State Department of Transportation Region 10 Director Richard Causin on a tour of the on and off ramps at Exit 13 of the Southern State Parkway last week.

As part of the tour, the assemblywoman highlighted areas of concern for Valley Stream and Elmont residents, including the lack of pedestrian signals to help people navigate their way through the busy intersection. Much of the foot traffic in the area, Assemblywoman Solages said, is a result of pedestrians traveling to Masjid Hamza on days of worship, as well as students who travel from their homes in North Valley Stream to Elmont Memorial High School.

“We know that this is one of the most well-traversed exits in the State of New York, with hundreds of thousands of vehicles traveling through each year,” she said in a statement, “and we must utilize all of the tools at our disposal to enhance the safety of our roadways for drivers and pedestrians alike.”

Representatives from the Nassau County Department of Public Works attended the tour last week to ascertain how the county and state could work together to improve conditions at Exit 13. The county has jurisdiction over the maintenance of North Central Avenue, and local traffic mitigation measures, such as traffic lighting, sidewalks and pedestrian signals, but the State Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over the on and off ramps, the signage for the parkway, the overpass bridge and the parkway itself.

In 2018, the State Legislature passed the Southern State Parkway study to coordinate with local governments to examine the configuration of entrance and exit ramps, and signage at entrance ways and exits on the Southern State Parkway. Assemblywoman Solages expects the New York State Department of Transportation to release the study next week, however, a  DOT spokesman previously told the Herald that a report of the study’s findings would not be released to state and local leaders until May 2021.

County Executive Laura Curran said she urges her “colleagues in government to move as quickly as possible to finish this safety study,” and Legislator Carrié Solages said he was “very thankful that Assemblywoman Solages and I were able to get representatives from the Governor’s Office, the county executive and members of her staff to tour the intersection, see the concerns of the community and commit to a plan and solution.”