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Legislator Aims to Make Udall, Higbie Safer to Travel

Increased police patrols requested for "Wild West" motorist activities.

Lawmaker hopes to reduce dangers on West Islip road. File photo by Patch.
Lawmaker hopes to reduce dangers on West Islip road. File photo by Patch.

Suffolk County Legislator Tom Barraga wants to make Higbie Lane and Udall Road in West Islip safer travel routes and has asked local police to step up enforcement of everything from speeding to dangerous maneuvers and illegal turns.

The request was borne from residents’ concerns who live in the area and who are worried that sooner or later someone will be killed by the illegal driving activity and disregard for state driving laws, said Barraga.

In an email to Patch Barraga cites several dangerous examples, such as breaking the speed limit on Udall Road both ways from Sunrise Highway to the fork of Udall Road and Higbie Lane; illegally riding the center lane on Higbie from Lions Path to Union Boulevard and then making a left on to Union or jumping back into the main lane going north, illegal turns from the gas station on Udall Road (west side) and illegal u-turns by customers leaving the bagel store on Udall. 

Then there are the illegal u-turns by customers leaving the cleaners just south of the railroad tracks. 

“There are drivers not stopping at the cross path in front of the bagel store when residents are walking in the cross path and illegal turns in and out of the Best Food Market on Udall Road,” said Barraga. “The entire strip is a mess and intensive police coverage will continue,” he told Patch.

As part of the patrol request Barraga asked the Third Precinct for a list of traffic and driving citations issued between January 1, 2013 and September 30, 2013.

The top ticket getters on Higbie were failure to stop (38 tickets issued), equipment violations (28 citations), use of a mobile phone while driving (22 tickets) and five speeding tickets issued in the time frame. A driver was issued a ticket for driving left in a no-passing zone and two drivers were cited for passing violations.

On Udall, 26 speeding tickets were issued, 25 citations were written for failure to stop, 24 tickets  were written for equipment violations and just one ticket for using a phone while driving. One ticket was issued for driving in the wrong direction as well as one citation for throwing refuse out of a car window.

Both roadways have similar numbers when it came to vehicle infractions. There were 17 and 19 insurance violations for Higbie and Udall, respectively, and 21 and 23 no inspection certificate tickets issued.

“This stretch of road for many seems to be the equivalent of the Wild West for drivers who completely disregard New York state driving laws,” stated Barraga in a press release regarding the list of issued tickets.

“Intensive Marshal Dillion police coverage of this area will continue so obey the traffic laws or suffer the consequences. West Islip is not Gunsmoke,” he stated.
Anthony November 18, 2013 at 04:58 PM
It should also be noted that another CVS project was recently approved at the corner of Montauk and Wellwood in Lindenhurst. As part of the approval, traffic will only be permitted to enter and exit on Montauk highway ensuring unrestricted and smooth traffic flow on Wellwood.
Eddie November 18, 2013 at 05:54 PM
There needs to be something done with the intersection of Roderick Road and Udall just south of sunrise. What a death trap thats become. Why do people insist on driving in the shoulder!? They need to put a light there.
Ultimate Conservative November 19, 2013 at 08:10 AM
post an unmarked car on Higbie La to watch traffic coming south by West Islip Blvd. People constantly drive straight in the left turn lane. They proceed south through and across the railroad tracks, disregarding the traffic lane markings.
paul November 19, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Udall Road from Sunrise Highway to where it intersects Higbie Lane has become a speedway. The posted speed limit is 35mph but since there is no stop signs nor traffic signals, people seem to drive what seem like almost twice the limit. Please contact the third precinct COPE unit and ask if they can have someone respond to address this dangerous condition.(631)854-8308 If we all address this dangerous matter it may possibly help save a life.
oldfed December 17, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Guess who are most of the culprits, IMO. Spoiled HS kids w/fast cars leaving the school in the afternoon. While unlikely, raising the drivers license age to 18 might help. Or parents NOT giving these brats expensive cars to tool around in. Again, unlikely to change.

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