Retrofitting Long Island Suburbs For The Pedestrian

Complete streets, road diets, streetscape improvements - geared to promote suburban downtowns for new residents who seek access to amenities without having to drive is a hit for some towns who have successfully obtained government grants to fund them
December 9, 2011, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Just a few miles from the Queens (New York City) border lies the quiet, upscale hamlet of Great Neck in Long Island's Nassau County.

"Jean A. Celender, the mayor of Great Neck Plaza, sees walkability as a 'big issue' in her 0.33-square-mile village of 7,000 residents... Many have downsized from two-story homes nearby, seeking the 'availability to age in place' in the village. "They like it even more when they can go downstairs and have everything," she said, from Great Neck's array of boutiques and restaurants to the 26-minute train trip to Manhattan."

On Great Neck Road - which the article depicts with a photograph showing resident using a walker utilizing the new median strip for crossing, travel lanes were reduced and bike lanes added.

"Dealing with 'requests from residents to make our streets safer,' Ms. Celender, a professional planner, has helped enact five traffic-calming pedestrian and bicycle-safety projects over the last decade."

At a mid-November workshop on the legislation, part of the 10th Annual Vision Long Island Smart Growth Summit, (Republican) State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo Jr., the original sponsor of the Complete Streets bill, said that retrofitting suburbs with pedestrians rather than cars in mind was "a positive for any community" and "would certainly encourage" development.

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Published on Thursday, December 1, 2011 in The New York Times- Real Estate
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