East Williston ed board backs Roslyn Road plan

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From left: East Williston school Superintendent Elaine Kanas, school board President Mark Kamberg and board Vice President Robert Fallarino are seen at a Feb. 1, 2017 school board meeting. (Photo by Ted Ryan)

By Kristy O’Connell

The East Williston school board on Monday announced its support for Nassau County Legislator Arnold Drucker’s plan to install a traffic light at the intersection of Roslyn Road and Locust Lane.

The intersection is notorious for accidents resulting from drivers missing the sharp curve in the road.

In 2014, three people died near the intersection over the course of a month.

In late 2015, Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs, a Democrat, sought to calm traffic in the area by narrowing Roslyn Road from two lanes in each direction to one from I.U. Willets Road to the Long Island Expressway.

The plan was put on hold after Jacobs died in September.

The East Williston school board adamantly opposed that plan, however, claiming that reducing the amount of lanes would result in “undue duress on [the district’s] school buses and most likely create more danger with traffic backing up during rush hour,” the school board president, Mark Kamberg, said at the time.

But Kamberg said Drucker, Jacobs’ Democratic successor, told the board that he supports leaving the lanes as they are, with the intention of adding a traffic light at the intersection and creating a right-hand turning lane, a plan the school board publicly supports.

“I shared with him that the traffic light was not the concern of this district but the issue of two lanes to one, and he assured me that he does not support that,” Kamberg said.

The project also has support from North Hempstead Town Councilman Peter Zuckerman (D-East Hills), who represents the area.

While Drucker’s proposal has not yet been approved, Kamberg said, the board will attend the Nassau County Legislature’s session on Monday to state its support.

Drucker was initially unwilling to support either lane reduction or the installation of a traffic light, expressing concern over creating more traffic and the cost of the project.

But he later contacted the board, stating his intent to rally support within the Legislature to install a traffic light at the dangerous intersection, Kamberg said.

Drucker’s legislative aide, Crystal Berger, gave the district a map of the changes Drucker will request, including the removal of the guard rail and boulders, and the creation of a dedicated right-turn lane.

The board also voted Monday to officially authorize the district to ask voters to approve $1 million in spending from a capital reserve fund alongside its 2017-18 budget on May 16.

The fund was established in 2016 to fund various building projects and would pay for upgrades to the North Side School’s security vestibule, athletic fields and landscaping.

The board has saved approximately $1 million and now needs voter approval to spend it.

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