– The Town’s Department of Transportation and Traffic Safety met with
representatives from the Northport-East Northport School District and the
Suffolk County Police Department Second Precinct at Northport High School on
Tuesday, November 27, to present findings of the Town’s traffic study of Laurel
Hill Road and recommendations for traffic safety improvements.
Traffic Safety team has been carefully analyzing the data they collected from
vehicular as well as pedestrian and bicycle traffic to formulate a
recommendation that will make our roads safer for student walkers, reduce
driver frustration and achieve an overall traffic calming effect, especially
during those critical pick-up and drop-off times,” said Supervisor Chad A.
Lupinacci, who has been in communication with residents and school district
officials since the September accident, which seriously injured a student pedestrian
as he was walking to the school on Tuesday, September 4.
Town’s Department of Transportation and Traffic Safety placed traffic counting
devices along Laurel Hill Road and on the driveways providing access to and
from the high school along Laurel Hill Road to collect data including traffic
volumes and speeds during the period from Wednesday, September 19,
through Thursday, September 27. Traffic Safety staff returned on Tuesday,
October 16, to observe student drop off and pick-up, pedestrian and bicycle
activity on Laurel Hill Road. Data was collected during specific time periods
coinciding with the student arrival and dismissal periods to obtain a more
comprehensive understanding of the existing conditions. Findings were analyzed
over the course of several weeks to produce recommendations for traffic calming
and road safety improvements.
observations revealed that, while vehicular traffic volume was moderate to
heavy during peak periods, pedestrian activity was moderate to low. Traffic
conditions were made worse due to poor driver behavior, including speeding;
dropping off students in the westbound Laurel Hill Road shoulder area and
travel lane; and using the westbound Laurel Hill Road shoulder area to bypass
the queue of vehicles waiting to enter the high school’s westernmost driveway
on Laurel Hill Road. Buses and other vehicles were observed making precarious
left turns out of the school’s easternmost driveway on Laurel Hill Road.
the vehicular traffic data collected and pedestrian and bicycle activity
observed, the Department of Transportation and Traffic Safety had developed
a concept plan that included adding an exclusive westbound left turn lane
to service left turn movements into the high school’s westernmost driveway on
Laurel Hill Road to help reduce driver frustration for westbound motorists
wishing to travel through the area. This improvement would involve reducing the
width of the shoulder areas along both sides of Laurel Hill Road thereby
eliminating both the ability of drivers to use the shoulder to bypass the
travel lane and the ability to drop students off in the westbound shoulder.
proposed concept plan would also result in eliminating on-street parking in the
eastbound Laurel Hill Road shoulder area (approximately 25 spaces would be
offered recommendations for the school district to consider implementing on
school property which included restricting left turns out of the school’s
easternmost driveway on Laurel Hill Road; evaluating on-site traffic
circulation, parking and student drop off conditions to determine if there are
ways to improve them; partnering with the Town of Huntington regarding the
installation of a permanent Driver Feedback Device within the school speed zone
on Laurel Hill Road.
next steps are to meet with the School District architect, Suffolk County and
residents to discuss the Town’s traffic study and plans for improvements along
Laurel Hill Road and on the school property,” said Scott Spittal, the Town’s
Director of Transportation and Traffic Safety.
Tuesday, September 4, there was a tragic accident involving a pedestrian at
Northport High School on Laurel Hill Road in Northport. The student was hit by
a motorist and seriously injured.
Friday, September 14, Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, a Citizen’s Advocate and
Town staff from the Department of Transportation and Traffic Safety met with
Northport-East Northport School District and Second Precinct officials. The
purpose of the meeting was to discuss the incident and concerns regarding
vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area.
High School sits on the property at the south west corner of Laurel Hill Road
and Elwood Road (CR 10). The Town of Huntington has jurisdiction over Laurel
Hill Road and Suffolk County Department of Public Works has jurisdiction over
Elwood Road (CR 10).