Westchester County cracks down on wrong way drivers with installation of new parkway signs

Marcus Solis Image
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
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The Wrong Way Task Force finished its final review of the Bronx River Parkway and announced the installation of 160 new signs along the highway. Marcus Solis has the story.

WHITE PLAINS, New York (WABC) -- A task force aimed at cutting down on wrong way drivers on parkways in Westchester County, announced its findings as well as some of its accomplishments on Tuesday.

The Wrong Way Task Force, created by Westchester County Executive George Latimer in 2020 after a fatal crash on I-287, finished its final review of the Bronx River Parkway, and announced the installation of 160 new signs along the highway.

They include approximately 130 wrong way signs and 15 do not enter signs. Other signs include no left turns, one way and parkway entrance signs.

The pandemic slowed the group's work, but it visited every intersection and entrance ramp on the Bronx River Parkway, the only highway the county owns and could make immediate improvements to.

The county's public works department also painted 30 new pavement arrows on exit ramps and traffic signals with an additional 22 planned for installation this year.

As a result, the task force reported a number of improvements.

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There were six reported wrong way incidents on the Bronx River Parkway in 2021, compared to 12 incidents reported in 2020 and 2019.

So far in 2022, just two wrong way incidents have been reported.

Latimer said one of the challenges were the ancient design of the parkway.

"The Bronx River Parkway was the first and being the first, it was engineered for a completely different America," he said. "We did not anticipate in the 1920s the motorized vehicles that we have now."

The Wrong Way Task Force also made further recommendations including the recommendation of adding wrong way signs to the backs of existing speed limit signs.

These would be installed every 4,000 feet and would provide additional warning to drivers if they pass all of the signs at the ramps and intersections.

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The group also suggested the addition of enhanced street lighting and explored the use of video technology and real-time notifications for errant drivers.

The findings will be passed along to the New York State Department of Transportation, which has control over the Hutchinson River Parkway, Taconic State Parkway and the Saw Mill River Parkway.

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