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Stern: Station Being Built to Enforce Townline Truck Restrictions

Suffolk County Legislature to move forward with construction of truck inspection station in Commack.


Commack residents were assured they will soon see improved enforcement of the trucking restrictions on Townline Road. 

Suffolk Legis. Steven Stern, D-Dix Hills, said the county legislature recently approved plans to build a commercial truck inspection station in Commack to address local traffic and safety concerns about Townline Road. 

Suffolk County will move forward with building a 30,000-square-foot truck inspection station on a currently vacant parcel of land between Commack Road and Crooked Hill Road. It will be located across from Kohl's and Home Depot.

"Everyone knows the traffic situation up and down Commack Road is challenging. Enforcement is difficult because you have motor carrier enforcement, but they have had difficulty pulling guys over," Stern said. 

Stern said the truck inspection station will give Suffolk County police's motor carrier unit a safe location to pull over commercial 18-wheelers over for full inspection without backing up traffic on Commack Road/Townline Road. It eliminates the risk of injury to the police officer and truck driver. 

"If you have so much as a broken tail light, they will write you up in a big way. We will all see that when the new location is built," Stern said. 

The county work order has already been issued for the $500,000 construction project, but it may be delayed due to Hurrican Sandy cleanup, according to Stern.

The Commack Civic Association has been actively seeking to restrict, possibly eliminate, commercial 18-wheeler trucks from traveling on Townline Road to reach the so-called Kings Parks industrial area since 2010. 

Residents have raised safety concerns about 18-wheeler trucks traveling on the roadway, which narrows to one lane in each direction in select areas. The northern portion of the route brings trucks through residential neighborhoods, directly past both Commack High School and North Ridge Elementary School. 

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. 

Stern said the county has tried to appeal the courts decision several times, knowing residents would not want it to be a county road. Townline Road would need to be widened and straightened out to meet federal road requirements. Furthermore, there are no restrictions against 18-wheeler trucks on county roadways. 

Suffolk County officials are in negotiations with both Town of Huntington and Town of Smithtown representatives to work out who the road will belong to, who will maintain it and who will pay the costs, according to Stern. He said the county is meeting resistance from Huntington. 

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

Commack residents plan to bring the petition to Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone at the town's Dec. 18 board meeting. 

Kristie M December 05, 2012 at 05:44 PM
While i agree with you about speeding trucks, there are parents and neighbors in passenger vehicles speeding all over the place that could just as easily kill kids. No one seems overly concerned about that. The same people doing 50 mph on Walter Ct. or Cedar, much less Townline, are likely the same ones voting yes on school budgets for the children. Everyone needs to act right and slow down.
pbug56 December 05, 2012 at 07:00 PM
How does an inspection site several miles away help with the mess on TownLine Road? There are many ways for trucks to get to TL and avoid inspection. Can anyone figure out just where this idiocy will be?
GLENN December 05, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Is this the best solution they can come up with, they should focus on TLR the few trucks that have loud pipes are ruining it for all the truck drivers who are respectful.
Concerned Comamck Citizen December 06, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Why not just put a police car in the North Ridge parking lot between 5 and 6 AM and ticket every truck on Townline at that time of the day. This would raise revenue and cost nothing
Gigi December 07, 2012 at 04:50 AM
I totally agree with you pbug - how will an inspection site miles away do anything to help truck traffic on Townline Road. I also agree with Concerned Commack Citizen - assign a police car and ticket the offenders. I'm also trying to envision what is across from Kohl's...the place that has the farmstand? There's already a ton of traffic on Crooked Hill Rd. Do they really think that a 30,000 sq ft inspection station on one lane Crooked Hill Rd. across from a major shopping center w/ all the associated traffic is a smart idea??? Unbelievable!


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