Community Petitions For Traffic Light On Udall Following Teen's Death

An online petition urges Department of Public Works Commissioner to install a light and crosswalk on Udall Road.

Friends and neighbors of Thomas Labetti, the West Islip 15-year-old killed after he was struck by an SUV while riding his bike on Sept. 11, are lobbying to get signatures on a petition to install a traffic light and crosswalk on the road where the accident occurred.

The Change.org petition, which has 92 supporters as of 3:30 p.m. Friday, requests Islip Town Department of Public Works Commissioner Thomas Owens make Udall Road safer for pedestrians by installing a light and crosswalk near the Sunrise Highway intersection.

Community member Nanci DeLucia initiated the petition following the teen's passing on Thursday.

The petition reads: "Udall road is a danger to our children. The residential strip has become the site of a tragic event and a traffic light with crosswalk can help prevent accidents and keep pedestrians safer."

No criminal charges have been filed against the driver of the Tahoe, 34-year-old Dennis A. Grabhorn Jr., of West Islip.

Related: Facebook Memorial Pays Homage To Thomas Labetti

In signing the petition, supporters state they fear for their children's safety and aim to prevent another tragedy.

"My son was friends with Tom and this was an avoidable tragedy," wrote Desiree Aiello.

"I have teenage kids who ride their bikes and I am concerned for their safety," wrote Mary Kane.

"Udall Road is a long and busy street. An additional light and crosswalk will slow the speed of traffic making this very residential section of town safer for all," wrote Melissa Seaberg. 

Patch will provide updates on the outcome of the petition.

S DeClemente October 04, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Sorry Nancy, but a light an Intersection of course is the right thing to do. But an arbitrary light where a few think it might deter accidents, and slow down cars is just not true. the "Zebra Crossing" at Higbie Bagels works beautifully. My feeling, and I will go to the Town of Islip with my proposal is that I am all for having "Zebra Crossings' at every cross street up to Sunrise Hwy. That is far better then one light. Whats your alternative A traffic light at every corner? or a corner where you think it's best. My experience with seeing "Zebra Crossing" is that they work. I hope the town could come together on this, or as many things nothing will get accomplished
Wendy Regan October 04, 2012 at 09:09 PM
For all who wish to sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/thomas-owens-commissioner-of-dpw-install-traffic-light-on-udall-rd-wi-with-crosswalk
Nanci DeLucia October 04, 2012 at 10:27 PM
I know what you are saying. It's just not enough. And you're right. But we need to start somewhere. I do not want a light at every corner just one in the middle. It will slow traffic and create safer speeds. My children go to the schools off udall and though they do not walk many of their friends do. And I was serious about the bike safety program. We are working on raising funds for one and would love your knowledge. If you are really interested in making a difference in how people ride along our streets I can give you info and you can join a meeting.
Maggie Kent October 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I had a petition signed and sent to the County about five years ago addressed to Wm Hillman, Chief Engineer. All I received for my effort was a form letter stating they would "conduct a traffic study." Well, how much longer, how many more lives? How do we manage to get an additional traffic light turning right from the eastbound service road of Sunrise when it was always a right on red to begin with.....hello? I think 2-3 stops signs from Sunrise to Udall/Higbie intersection would help. You know people are going to roll the stop signs, but it will take the speed down. Traffic lights will only lead to back ups on side streets.
Bonnie Wegener November 08, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Hi, not sure where to leave this comment but, how about a "GET CAUGHT" campaign, If you get caught wearing a helmet while bike riding, the residents of WI or maybe the Memorial fund will provide a $5 gift card for seven eleven or a coupon for a free slurpee or a slice of pizza and a drink. The local busineses would probably be quite generous. This would increase helmet awareness and hopefully lots of kids would be wearing helmets which wouldn't solve all our problems but it would at least help these teens to be more safe while biking in WI.


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