The Town of Smithtown Traffic Safety Department is working on a series of pedestrian and driver safety measures to improve the area surrounding the St. James General Store, located on the corner of Moriches Rd. and Harbor Hill Rd. The project was presented by Traffic Safety after damage to a drainpipe required the Highway Department to go into the ground to replace it. Traffic Safety Director Mitch Crowley used the road work as an opportunity to design a safer intersection. Using capital funds leftover in pedestrian safety projects, these new improvements will make a historically difficult corner much safer for shoppers, joggers, bikers and drivers.
“This is the perfect little downtown revitalization project at the end of the Lake Avenue business district. I commend Mitch Crowley and his department for bringing this idea to the table, when a drainpipe unexpectedly needed repair. This project increases foot traffic for the historic general store and makes the intersection much safer for our residents and visitors.” - Supervisor Ed Wehrheim
Two solar powered LED rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) pedestrian signs featuring push button activation are to be installed, along with a cobblestone style pedestrian crosswalk. Concrete curbs and sidewalks will be redone as well.
The upgraded sidewalks and crosswalks will be handicap accessible, with sidewalks at a width of 5 feet, and ramps, as per the guidelines set by the New York State Department of Transportation. The Traffic Safety Department has planned to build a Bulbout, or a mini half-circle island in front of the General Store. This unique design helps to prevent driver blind spots, creates a safer waiting area for pedestrians, and slows down traffic as it descends along this downhill road.
“Overall, safer pedestrian crosswalks and walkways would be very much welcomed. It has always been a problem when pedestrians would walk from one site to another along Taylor Lane crossing at Moriches Road. Anything to make this intersection safer would be tremendous.” - St. James General Store Manager Karen Sheedy
The renovated crosswalk will connect the parking lots for the St. James General Store and Deepwells Farm Historical Society, which will help to ease foot traffic concerns for pedestrians crossing Moriches Road. Renovations are expected to begin next week, after the drainpipe has been repaired.