FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Major changes are coming to a stretch of a Long Island roadway where five teenagers were killed in May.
In Farmingdale, residents have been complaining for years about Conklin Street, where they said drivers speed on a regular basis. It’s also the site of numerous accidents.
Now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced major safety changes will be made to the road in the form of the two lanes going each way being reduced to one lane each way. A new left turn lane will also be added, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
“I applaud the governor for bringing this to fruition,” Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand told Hall. “I am very confident that this is going to slow down traffic.”
Last May, five teenagers who were either current or former students at Farmingdale High School were riding in a 2001 Nissan when their vehicle crossed the center line on Conklin Street and collided with a GMC Suburban, police said.
Following the crash, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported some Farmingdale residents said they’ve been fighting for safety improvements on Conklin Street for years.
“I don’t know what has to be done. How many more people have to die?” resident Monica Berman told Xirinachs in May. “We’ve been trying to get a light here. As everybody knows, this is a speed strip here, especially at night.”
Cuomo said in May the state will also install new radar technology that utilizes traffic signals to help control motorists speed. The radar device will be able to identify speeding drivers and change the traffic signal to red, forcing drivers to come to a stop.
The state is expected to install the first of these devices at the corner of Conklin and Walnut streets, near the site of the accident.
Ekstrand said the next problem that needs to be safety upgrades is Route 109 in Farmingdale, where a number of pedestrian accidents have occurred.
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