Westchester residents demand action on 'dangerous, antiquated' road in Briarcliff Manor

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, New York (WABC) -- Some Westchester residents want changes made to a road they say is antiquated and dangerous because of its high frequency of accidents.

Officials and community members in Briarcliff are asking the state to take action on the hazards of Route 9A that sees more than 40,000 commuters each day.

Briarcliff Manor's 2-mile stretch of Route 9A opened in 1933 and in the 1970s, residents had to stage protests in order to get a guardrail between north and southbound traffic.

That guardrail has been hit, but not repaired in multiple spots.

Unlike a parkway, trucks are allowed on the roadway, but like some of the county's older highways, it's narrow, there are low bridges and there are traffic lights at intersections that cause bottlenecking.

Community members say the road is outdated and emergency crews responded to nearly 120 accidents on that stretch of highway in 2018.

The most notorious crash happened in 2004 when a tanker truck carrying 4,700 gallons of gasoline collided with a car, setting off a fireball six stories high and trapping drivers of both vehicles inside.

Now they want the Department of Transportation to address the danger and come up with a plan to prevent the crashes, traffic jams and strains on local first responders.

In the immediate future, elected officials say they want to see the state fix the guardrail and adjust timing on traffic lights, but in the long term, they want to see overpasses built.

"Our residents are tired of the traffic, they're tired of getting in accidents, tired of having family members injured or killed," Briarcliff Manor Mayor Steven Vescio said. said. "Many people I know won't even let their children drive on the roadway it's so dangerous."

The DOT says there is a contract in place to repair the guardrail that is pending. They said they will make the area a candidate location for a future transportation study.

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