Cortlandt Asks for Barrier on Bear Mountain Parkway

Following the death of a 27-year-old Lake Peekskill man, the Town of Cortlandt passes a resolution urging the state to install a barrier on the parkway.

Candles, photos, flowers, rosary beads, personal messages and an empty Ciroc bottle lay near the spot where Lake Peekskill resident LaMarr Barnes was killed in an on the Bear Mountain Parkway last Friday. Friends and family will attend his funeral today, remembering him as a good-natured guy who knew how to make people laugh.

Many believe that his tragic death could have been avoided by a safety precaution: a barrier on the state-owned Bear Mountain Parkway. Town Supervisor Linda Pulgisi agrees, and told the community at last night’s Town Board meeting that the town has been trying for years to get something done.

“Bear Mountain Parkway is a state highway. Over the years we have passed resolutions, filed letters to the Department of Transportation, governors and other officials asking for a barrier. We need to have that barrier going through the cent of the road for safety reasons,” Puglisi said.

The New York State Department of Transportation is currently researching whether or not they have done studies on the Bear Mountain Parkway, said spokeswoman Sue Stepp. "Right now, the Town of Cortlandt says they have formally requested us to study area to see whether it warrants a barrier and we are looking for those now. We think we have done those studies," she said.

Stepp also explained that there are many different types of barriers and sometimes they do not help decrease accidents because a barrier can reduce the width of travel lanes plus drivers psychologically shy away from barriers which further reduces the width.

“Sometimes the installation of barriers can cause more problems,” Stepp said, explaining that they cause places where people have to stop and start again to make turns, which can create hazards.

Supervisor Puglisi said that there have been many accidents over the years and that she needs the community’s help to lobby the state for a barrier “once and for all.”

Stepp said that the DOT is also researching how many fatalities have occurred on the Bear Moutnain Parkway. Patch will report these numbers as soon as they are released.

Puglisi offered her thoughts and prayers to the Barnes family.

The Town Board passed a resolution urging the New York State DOT to install a barrier between lanes along the Bear Mountain Extension.

Editor's Note: This article has been expanded to include statements from the NYS DOT.


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Liz Giegerich December 15, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Hi, I just talked to DOT and they are looking for past requests from the Town of Cortlandt and to see if they have done any formal studies, which they believe they have but cannot confirm. I just updated the article and will post more once I get the info from the DOT. Also, to Mary's question, the police are still investigating and will probably not have those details for another two weeks. I will report the info as it comes in. Thanks.
craig December 17, 2011 at 04:44 AM
I avoided an early morning accidedent by crossing over the double yellow line. Thank god there was no oncoming traffic.The lack of a center barrier helped as well. Many people still make Illegal left turns onto the Parkway.These Locust avenue entrance points have had proper signage for years.People d'ont care and do it anyway.
carole March 28, 2012 at 01:10 AM
My next step is Help Me Howard, Maybe something will get done. My son will not die in vain.
carole April 20, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Just so everyone is clear on the accident, my son was a passenger in a car where another car crossed the line and hit the car he was in head on. So if there was any distraction it would have been the man driving the other car.
carole April 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I can't see how an investigation of a car accident takes over four months. Maybe it is on the back burner. The State police may need to step up their game.


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