DEER PARK - State Department of Transportation officials held a meeting Tuesday to discuss the possibility of widening the Sagtikos and Sunken Meadow parkways in an effort to improve safety and ease traffic congestion.

DOT officials say an average of 90,000 vehicles per day use the Sagtikos State Parkway. Nearly 65,000 vehicles travel the Sunken Meadow State Parkway on a daily basis. Those numbers are expected to increase significantly if the Heartland Town Square Project is built on the former Pilgrim State Hospital site in Brentwood.

The proposed development includes 9,000 apartments and a shopping area.

Many commuters who attended the informational meeting say they are tired of sitting in traffic on the parkways and want to see it expanded.

“I think it presents a golden opportunity to redevelop the parkway to not only ease traffic but to build a pedestrian and recreational bike path along the parkway,” said Dennis Byrne, of Belle Terre.

The DOT says they will use the public's input and feedback from engineers to draw up specific recommendations for changes to the parkways. They hope to present that plan to the public by this fall.