The accident-prone intersection of Route 25A and County Road 21 in Rocky Point could be getting a new traffic light that local officials hope will curb injuries and fatalities.
“In response to community interest, the New York State Department of Transportation will update the traffic signal at Route 25A and County Road 21 with a protected left turn indicated by a green arrow phase for vehicles turning left from eastbound Route 25A onto northbound [Hallock Landing Road],” said Stephen Canzoneri, public information officer for the regional DOT office that covers Suffolk County. “This is being done following an extensive review of the intersection and will reflect the traffic pattern for westbound Route 25A.”
Canzoneri said that a new left-turn signal will be installed by the state DOT in September. A protected turning light allows drivers in the turning lane to strictly take a left while other drivers going straight are stopped at a red light. Westbound Route 25A already has a protected turning light.
Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) said the intersection has a long history of vehicular incidents over the years. The best way to avoid problems there, she said, was to avoid making left turns onto Route 25A or Hallock Landing Road.
“That’s a very busy intersection, and there’s a lot going on there,” Bonner said. “People need to drive defensively and plan their routes so they don’t have to make a left.”
Bonner has been in contact with state DOT officials and they have sent surveyors out since 2017 to analyze the dangers of the intersection, she said.
The intersection at the corner of Route 25A and Rocky Point Yaphank Road, as Route 21 is also known, is a notoriously dangerous intersection with new accidents reported every year, some of which have caused fatalities, such as the death of Rocky Point resident Carol Sardegna in September 2016. One recent crash occurred Aug. 15 at the intersection, according to the Rocky Point Watch Facebook page.
The state DOT said it would not install a left-turn arrow northbound and southbound on County Road 21 because it would reduce time for vehicles on both roads, according to a state DOT letter received by Bonner. The letter also said the state department plans to relocate the east and southbound STOP bar pavement markings and upgrade the County Road 21 crosswalks to be more visible.
Bonner said she believes the turn signal should help reduce accidents at the intersection.
“People by law will only be able to make a left when you can,” Bonner said. “It doesn’t mean people still won’t try to do it, but I feel confident more people obey turning signals than not.”