SAFETY CONGESTION PAVEMENT CONDITION CLARITY OF SIGNING AESTHETICS
3 3 6 7 7
When the first sections of the Southern State Parkway opened during the late 1920's, it was the most state-of-the-art highway of its type. That was when top speeds were 40 MPH and drivers were headed for a stress-free day at Long Island's state parks.
The march of decades brought dual roadways and higher speeds, and unfortunately, compromised safety, as evidenced in the aptly named "Blood Alley" through much of Nassau County. Many of the exit ramps look like they have not been altered in the postwar era. New lightposts and signs (particularly new advance signs before exits) brought an increased measure of safety, but many purists argue that this detracted from the original aesthetics. Many of the many stone-arch overpasses do remain (although they were altered when the parkway was widened during the 1950's), and the "ribbon parks" still do an effective job of shielding the parkway from surrounding neighborhoods.