A new traffic light was installed at an intersection near El Monte Memorial High School in response to a wave of traffic accidents that seriously injured or killed pedestrians.
Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages and other community activists introduced traffic lights at the intersection of Holland Broadway and Diamond Street, near the high school on El Monte Road.
Solages said the traffic lights should be operational this week, just in time for the holidays, when accidents tend to be more common due to increased traffic on the roads.
“We have come together after many years and have seen many tragic accidents where young people have been injured and even killed at the hands of drivers,” Solages said. Enjoy the beautiful community we have.”
Traffic safety has become a top priority for the El Monte community in recent years following multiple pedestrian accidents and fatalities. In 2018, four El Monte High School students were left in critical condition in an incident near the intersection of Holland Broadway and El Monte Road when a vehicle struck them.
Mimi Pierre-Johnson, president of the El Monte Cultural Center and community leader, was walking home with her son when she saw the car go off the road, flipping into the air and hitting trees, utility poles and four teenagers standing nearby. sidewalk.
“It happened in front of my son, so he wouldn’t cross the street for a long time,” Pierre-Johnson said. “It was painful for both of us because I wouldn’t even let him walk. I would send him to school.”
In 2016, a 12-year-old girl was killed by an oncoming vehicle as she crossed Elmont Road on Village Avenue on her way to school. There were no crossing guards at the intersection, the Herald previously reported.
“Many people in the community helped with the funeral,” Solages said. “We are responsible for each other’s children. It’s a collective responsibility, and when we have many of us, the burden is lightened.”
After years of comprehensive road studies and drills by local elected officials and residents, a traffic light was installed in February in front of St. Boniface Church near El Monte Road and Dutch Broadway.
The speed limit on Dutch Broadway near the high school was also reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph.
Other traffic lights have been added in neighboring communities over the past few months, including Merrick Road in Valley Stream and Burnside Avenue in Inwood.
“This is an important step in keeping our community safe and secure,” said Councilwoman Michaelle Solages. “Our traffic has improved, which is very exciting – as a mother who takes her kids to Broadway in Holland, I’ve always worried about crossing the road.”
Elected leaders are also petitioning to add speed bumps and other features to make town roads safer. Other speakers urged drivers to be mindful of speed limits and avoid distractions, such as using mobile phones while driving.
Pierre-Johnson said implementing these long-awaited safeguards was necessary to protect young people and others living in the region.
“We’re confident now that they have a safer street to get to and from school,” she said.