Editor's Note: The following release was sent out by the state Department of Transportation.
Commissioner Joan McDonald announced today that the Department will make several critical safety improvements on the Bear Mountain Parkway in northern Westchester County in order to reduce the likelihood of crossover crashes on the busy highway.
The proposed changes, including installing centerline median barriers and adding turning lanes, will be the focus of two upcoming public meetings scheduled for the end of February.
“Safety is a top priority for NYSDOT and after hearing community concerns about the Bear Mountain Parkway, we are taking quick action to implement engineering solutions that will help slow traffic down, protect walkers and prevent dangerous crossover accidents so that both motorists and pedestrians can use the highway more safely,” Commissioner McDonald said. “I thank local officials for working with us to identify solutions and I encourage the public to attend the public meetings to ask questions and offer comments about the upcoming improvement project.”
The two public meetings about the project are scheduled for:
• February 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the City of Peekskill Neighborhood Center, 4 Nelson Avenue Peekskill, NY.
• February 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Cortlandt Town Hall at 1 Heady Street.
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef said, “I am very pleased that the Department of Transportation has a plan in place to make critical improvements to the Bear Mountain Parkway Extension that addresses serious safety issues. I appreciate Commissioner McDonald’s response to my communities’ concerns, which municipal officials and I brought to her attention. It is imperative that we move forward on these planned road improvements to reduce serious accidents on this road. I encourage the residents of Peekskill and Cortlandt and others who travel this road to come to the public meetings at the end of February so they can see what the plans encompass and provide feedback to the New York State Department of Transportation.”
Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said, “Peekskill very much appreciates the DOT’s efforts to immediately address the safety concerns along the stretch of the Bear Mountain Parkway and the intersections at Carhart Avenue and Highland Avenue. We realize that budgets are tight for all State agencies and thank Commissioner McDonald for prioritizing these public safety improvements.”
Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi said, “I am very pleased that the New York State DOT has responded to our petition and letters to improve the safety on the state road - Bear Mountain Parkway. There have been many accidents and unfortunately some fatalities on this corridor over the years. I am very hopeful that these improvements will make the Bear Mountain Parkway safer, which is the goal.”
The proposed project will improve safety on the Bear Mountain Parkway between Highland Avenue in the City of Peekskill and Route 35/202 in the Town of Cortlandt, Westchester County. The primary safety feature of the project is installation of a median rail to help prevent crossover accidents between Division Street and Locust Avenue. Safety improvements, including left turn lanes and a new traffic signal, will be made at the intersections with Frost Lane and Carhart Avenue.
Pedestrian enhancements at this intersection will include crosswalks, pedestrian signal indications, and a sidewalk on Carhart Avenue. Turn lanes will be provided for left turning vehicles at Bear Mountain Lane, Locust Avenue, Brookside Avenue, and Arlo Lane. An auxiliary lane to accommodate traffic climbing the hill eastbound from Division Street will continue 1,200 feet beyond the intersection with Frost Lane and Carhart Avenue.
The project is expected to begin this summer, with most major work completed this fall and project completion scheduled for the spring of 2014. Opened in 1932, the Bear Mountain Parkway carries between 15,000 and 20,000 vehicles daily on four lanes, two in each direction. The parkway is limited to passenger cars during the daytime; trucks are allowed at night to reduce nighttime truck traffic in the City of Peekskill.