The state and town have teamed up and come up big for traffic safety in Stony Brook.
More than $1 million will make its way to the North Shore with help from its elected officials to fund a traffic safety improvement project on Stony Brook Road, officials announced this week. The money, which came largely through state Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), will examine a contentious stretch from Oxhead Road to Development Drive in Stony Brook, to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety as well as accessibility to public transportation.
The community surrounding Stony Brook University has been a longtime talking point for North Shore natives as an area in desperate need of improvement.
“I am proud to have worked with Stony Brook University and the Town of Brookhaven to advance this important project that will improve safety for students and residents alike,” said Flanagan, who secured $1 million for the project. “Creating more walkable communities is a move toward the future and I am happy to have contributed to such a worthwhile project.”
Once completed, the undertaking should herald the construction of a continuous sidewalk along Stony Brook Road; the extension of existing bicycle lanes and the installation of new left turn lanes at the existing signalized intersections; installation of a new traffic signal at Development Drive; and pedestrian signal upgrades, ornamental pedestrian-scale lighting, landscaping and ADA-compliant handicap ramps.
Flanagan’s $1 million, coupled with an additional $75,000 in grant funding that Englebright helped acquire, will hopefully reduce the presence of motorized forms of transportation and create a more united community surrounding the university.
“I applaud the ongoing efforts of Superintendent Losquadro and President Stanley to improve safety on Stony Brook Road and am heartened to see this project coming closer to fruition,” Englebright said. “The state funding secured by Senator Flanagan and myself will make a safer road for walkers and bicyclists by providing sidewalks, bicycle lanes, street lighting and a new traffic signal with pedestrian upgrades.”
Samuel L. Stanley, president of Stony Brook University, said pedestrian safety has been a longtime priority for the 25,000-student campus.
Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro (R) said the project was a pivotal step in the transformation of the community surrounding Stony Brook University.
“The addition of sidewalks and bicycle lanes will provide an alternative, safe means of transportation for students and residents traveling to and from Stony Brook University,” he said. “As a graduate of Stony Brook University, I take a lot of personal pride in moving this project forward.”
The estimated total cost of this project is $1.6 million, officials said. In addition to the $1 million in state funding — which comes from the New York State Dormitory Authority, through its State and Municipal Facilities Capital Program — and the $75,000 secured through the state multi-modal program, the Town of Brookhaven Highway Department is covering the remaining costs.
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) has been working with the town board to usher in a greater corridor study of Route 25A, which passes through Stony Brook, and said the traffic study project would also help propel the town toward a safer space for foot traffic.
“Safer roads are a great way to promote pedestrian traffic around Stony Brook University,” Romaine said. “This is a perfect example to prove how different levels of government can work together to get things done. I thank Senator Flanagan and Assemblyman Englebright for securing the funding and their commitment to improving the quality of life in Brookhaven town.”