A Traffic Light At Last


TrafficLightNew_080114A (2)At long last the much-needed, long-anticipated traffic light at the corner of Brokaw Lane and Middle Neck Road is operational. Although the light was installed last November, it wasn’t until last week that it was set up to work.
“I am delighted that it is finally working,” said Village of Great Neck Mayor Ralph Kreitzman. “I’m just sorry that it took so long.”
Both the Great Neck School District and the Village of Great Neck had tried for years to have Nassau County install a traffic light at this intersection leading up to Great Neck North High School, but they kept “hitting a brick wall.”
Last fall county approval finally came through. The county notified the village that the traffic light would soon be in place, but it took many more months before they actually put a shovel in the ground.
Work on the lights started in November 2013 but was prolonged for various reasons. Workers at the site then told the Great Neck Record that one of the delays was due to a hold-up in installing a cable that would run from the near-by Alert firehouse to the traffic signal; when a fire is called in the light will remain red for the time it takes the firefighters and engines to respond to the fire scene. Severe winter weather was also cited as a reason for numerous delays.
According to Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum, the traffic light is now fully operational and will help to improve pedestrian safety in crossing Middle Neck Road by Brokaw Lane. Birnbaum surveyed the scene and learned that if there is no traffic on Brokaw Lane, the light on Middle Neck Road will remain green. “It is imperative for pedestrians who wish to cross Middle Neck Road safely to push the crosswalk button,” she noted, “to give them a full 25-second cycle with a crossing signal and countdown.”
Additionally, she explained that the Alert Fire Department has the ability to digitally control the light on a firehouse computer so they can safely and quickly enter and exit when necessary.
So it seems that now, the journey back and forth between the Old Village’s “town” and North High School will be a much safer trip when school re-opens in September.
“Regardless of how long this project took to come to fruition,” said Superintendent of Schools Thomas Dolan, “let’s all pause now and celebrate an enhancement to the safety of the community and a fine, fine example of various groups pulling together to find a solution.”