Local Politicians Offer Solutions to Commuter Students


By Jenni Culkin

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

In the past couple of years, the Ammerman Campus has been hit with weather problems that have left students with difficult choices to make. With the consequences of a two-absence attendance policy looming over them, students have tried to brave county and local roads while slippery, icy, and wet conditions interfere with their travels to classes.

Students with cars have faced the frustration of balancing safety and academic responsibility on roads like Portion Road (CR-16), Nicolls Road (CR-97), and other residential roads like South Coleman Road. Even without the dangers of inclement weather, traffic and the high volume of students also creates a concern for areas with high concentrations of congestion and promptly getting to classes.

Brookhaven’s Town Councilman Kevin LaValle, expressed empathy for the students, remembering his own time as a student of the Ammerman campus.

Courtesy of the Township of Brookhaven

Courtesy of the Township of Brookhaven

“Having gone through it myself, I know the feeling,” said LaValle.

LaValle mentioned a flow of grant money that will allow for some much needed road work. The road work is supposed to begin in the spring and is intended to improve access to and from College Road and Nicolls Road, roads that are used extremely often during a typical Ammerman Campus student’s commute.

Difficult weather was LaValle’s next talking point. The town has a technological system that will allow for an easier and more convenient way for the people of the Township of Brookhaven to deal with snow.

Trucks are upgraded to track complaints by GPS after a call is put through 451-TOWN, the town hotline for questions, comments, and complaints. Drivers are equipped with iPads to track where the complaints have been sent from can be viewed in real time.

On a much broader scale that affects a larger population of the College’s students from each campus, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore’s office addressed commuter students’ needs from all over the county.

Courtesy of Bob Martinez

Courtesy of Bob Martinez

“For the last two years, Legislator Tom Muratore has served as Vice Chair of the County’s Public Works, Transportation and Energy Committee,” said Bob Martinez, Legislator Tom Muratore’s Chief-of-Staff. “The Legislator also serves on the Environment, Planning and Agriculture and the Veterans & Seniors Committees.”

Muratore’s administration has plans for commuter students who use public transportation to get to their classes, especially during times when inclement weather interferes with the ability of public transit to provide a smooth and safe commute.

According to a document provided by Martinez, Resolution 1101-2015, requires the county’s Transportation Division to come up with a maintenance plan for county bus shelters and procedures that will “provide for coordination with other local governments as well as the state and federal government.”

Unfortunately, the office of State Senator John Flanagan was unable to maintain contact for an interview.

A post about dealing with the winter weather on State Senator John Flanagan’s website mentions a system called CodeRED for those who need help in the case of a crucial weather situation.

“The CodeRED emergency notification system is a high-speed mass notification service that allows the Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services to deliver customized messages directly to Suffolk County homes and business,” says an excerpt from CodeRED’s description on its website.

People often believe that it’s the responsibility of the local government to stay connected with and serve the people to its fullest extent. This relationship is only possible because the populations of local governments participate in voting that elect the officials they feel will be most suited for that particular population.

As college students, we can maintain this small-scale democracy by using the rights that have been granted to us as adult citizens. The exchanges of ideas and the creation of legislation is only possible because of the voters’ decisions.



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