It's been more than a year since Carole Wilson has travelled on the Bear Mountain Parkway.
The feeling of loss is too palpable and, even though she's happy that the state Department of Transportation has announced plans to make safety improvements to the road, she still grieves for her son, LaMarr Barnes.
It was less than three months ago when family members and friends gathered in memory of the life Barnes lived.
"I will avoid that road at all costs," said Wilson, a Fishkill resident. "Even after they've completed the work."
LaMarr Barnes, a Lake Peekskill resident, was killed in a car accident on Dec. 9, 2011, when the driver of a car traveling westbound in Cortlandt swerved into the eastbound lane and collided with the car Barnes was in. Barnes was 27.
It was one of four accidents that have taken place on the road since 2000 and the second one to have taken place this decade. More than 200 accidents have taken place on that stretch since 2001.
Wilson collected thousands of signatures on petition imploring the DOT to make safety improvements to the road. She also joined her family and Cortlandt town officials in a press conference demanding that the DOT install barriers on the road and other safety measures.
State officials said the road work is expected to begin this summer and be completed in 2014.
Wilson thanked her co-workers along with Fishkill Beer and Soda; Fishkill Wine and Liquor; along with The Bagel Shop and CVS, also located in Fishkill, for allowing her to leave petitions in their stores.
She also thanked Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi.
"I'm just so happy," Wilson said. "It's not going to bring my son back, but at least I know something positive will come out of this. He didn't die in vain. By having this done, it could possibly save the next mother from going through this."
The DOT is holding two public meetings on the Bear Mountain Parkway project this month.
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.