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Mourning Family and Officials Demand Barrier on Bear Mountain Parkway

The Town of Cortlandt joined with LaMarr Barnes’ family to petition the state Department of Transportation for barrier.

Carole Wilson’s eyes were red with tears that she wiped away with her shirtsleeve, her chin quivered and her face frowned as she sat a few hundred yards from where her son was killed last December earlier this week.

Jackson was sitting at a press conference held by theat the intersection of the Bear Mountain Parkway and Arlo Lane. The conference was held to keep pressure on the state Department of Transportation to install a barrier on the state-owned parkway.

Jackson has been working with the town for the last two months to collect more than 1,500 signatures in support of a barrier, which they will submit to the DOT.

“I just want to see a barrier up before someone else dies,” Wilson said, holding back tears after the conference.

Her son, 27-year-old LaMarr Barnes, a Lake Peekskill resident, in a car accident on Dec. 9, 2011 when the driver of a car traveling westbound swerved into the eastbound lane and collided with the car Barnes was in. have occurred on the BMP in 2001 and 2005, and hundreds of accidents have happened over the last ten years.

“Tragedies occur when cars swerve over the double yellow lines, causing injuries and fatalities,” Supervisor Linda Puglisi said.

The Wilson’s have rallied the community and town board to revive efforts for a barrier after losing Barnes.

“The town is precluded by the state from installing a barrier,” Puglisi explained at the press conference. The town has written letters, made phone calls for several years, petitioning the state to build a barrier, but the state has always said no. 

While the state  for the parkway, it canceled the project once the economic crisis occurred in 2008. That project would have started in 2012. In December, after Barnes’ fatality, a state DOT spokeswoman said the department lacks the manpower, equipment and funding to do so.

“We will no longer accept the word no, only the word yes,” Puglisi said. The State DOT implemented a barrier on the Bronx River Parkway three days after a fatality on that road this past April, Puglisi said.

“We’ve been waiting for years,” Puglisi said. “We need a barrier to prevent future injuries and deaths. We need protection.”

Councilman John Sloan emphasized that the road was built in the 1950s, “when the world was a different place.”

As a commuter who takes the BMP to the train station for the last three decades, Sloan called himself a “de facto expert” on the road. Cars traveling at 60 miles per hour are separated by “six inches of yellow paint and nothing else,” Sloan said.

Emergency Services personnel attended the conference as well.

“It is a tragedy. It may be a lot of money but it is worth it,” said Director of Paramedics Justin Costable of a barrier.

The town will continue to collect signatures for the petition and to lobby the DOT for a barrier. You can find the petition in the PDF attached to  

For more statistics on accidents on the BMP, read this article

carole July 03, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Please sign the petition if you haven't already!

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