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Frustrated Residents Look to DEC for Townline Road Traffic Help

Commack Community Association asks DEC for industrial area traffic to be directed away from Townline Road.

After running into hurdles with the Town of Huntington, some residents are taking their long-held frustrations with Townline Road truck traffic to the New York State Department of Conservation. 

The Commack Community Association is asking the DEC for a special condition to be included in the solid waste management permits of several facilities along Townline Road and Old Northport Road along the borders of Commack, Kings Park and East Northport, which has become known as the Kings Park Industrial area.

In a letter to the DEC, the association is asking for the industries’ transportation routes to be directed away from Townline Road. Bruce Ettenberg, president of the association, references the DEC’s annual reports, which indicate that 538,112 tons of solid waste were transported to privately owned and operated solid waste facilities in the vicinity of Old Northport Road and Townline Road in 2011. In addition to the private facilities, Covanta Huntington took in 335,182 tons of municipal solid waste and shipped 82,926 tons of ash and 5,844 tons of metal for recycling in 2011.

The community wants those trucks diverted from transporting waste on Townline Road between Old Northport Road and Jericho Turnpike. He stated in his letter that the road is not fit for heavy truck traffic, as it is the address of two schools and has more than 160 homes that face the street.

He compared Townline Road with a possible alternative, Indian Head Road, which contains four lanes, turning lanes and roadside setbacks, and less than 30 homes that face the street.

“The community realizes that these businesses require a transportation route to continue their business operations. Townline Road is not constructed in the manner of Indian Head Road, which is intended to be used for truck transport by Suffolk County,” he wrote.

DEC officials are scheduled to be at a Kings Park Civic Association meeting Thursday evening to address odor, noise and pollution concerns in the industrial park area of Kings Park.

Smithtown Town officials approved laws restricting commercial trucks weighing more than 5,000 pounds from traveling along Townline Road from Jericho Turnpike north to Pulaski Road in September 2011. Previously, the town had only restricted truck traffic on Townline Road from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Yet, these new stringent restrictions have proven difficult to enforce. The southbound lanes of Townline Road were under the Town of Huntington's supervision, who did not place restrictions against trucks. Recently, the Town of Huntington's Highway Department brought a lawsuit against Suffolk County over ownership and  New York State courts determined it to be a county road. 

The Commack Civic Association collected more than 300 signatures from local residents demanding that Town of Huntington to take action in caring for Commack Road/Townline Road, and impose trucking restrictions. 

“The truck traffic is a traffic hazard and a source of air and noise pollution on Town Line Road where so many of our children spend their days” Ettenberg said.

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