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Measures Taken To Avoid Wrong-Way Crashes In Westchester

Traffic is heading southbound on the Taconic State Parkway at Peekskill Hollow Road. There are no "Wrong Way" signs at this northbound on-ramp. A 22-year-old motorcylist was killed by a wrong-way driver just south of here last Sunday Aug. 30.
Traffic is heading southbound on the Taconic State Parkway at Peekskill Hollow Road. There are no "Wrong Way" signs at this northbound on-ramp. A 22-year-old motorcylist was killed by a wrong-way driver just south of here last Sunday Aug. 30. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
The northbound entrance to the Taconic State Parkway at Peekskill Hollow Road where the driver of a Subaru turned left (south) at the end of this onramp toward northbound traffic before killing a motorcyclist Aug. 30, according to state police.
The northbound entrance to the Taconic State Parkway at Peekskill Hollow Road where the driver of a Subaru turned left (south) at the end of this onramp toward northbound traffic before killing a motorcyclist Aug. 30, according to state police. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
The one-way sign at the top of the Route 9A northbound exit ramp at Route 117 in Mount Pleasant as it looked Saturday. It was obscured by weeds.
The one-way sign at the top of the Route 9A northbound exit ramp at Route 117 in Mount Pleasant as it looked Saturday. It was obscured by weeds. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
A closeup of the one-way sign at the top of the Route 9A northbound exit ramp on Route 117 in Mount Pleasant as it looked on Saturday.
A closeup of the one-way sign at the top of the Route 9A northbound exit ramp on Route 117 in Mount Pleasant as it looked on Saturday. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
On Feb. 28, a suspected drunken driver from Ossining allegedly entered Route 9A here at Route 117, heading in the wrong direction before crashing into a southbound vehicle near the entrance to the Taconic Parkway. One person was hospitalized.
On Feb. 28, a suspected drunken driver from Ossining allegedly entered Route 9A here at Route 117, heading in the wrong direction before crashing into a southbound vehicle near the entrance to the Taconic Parkway. One person was hospitalized. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

A wrong-way crash on the Taconic State Parkway less than a mile south of Peekskill Hollow Road on Sunday, Aug. 30 took the life of a young motorcyclist. No charges have been filed in that one-way Taconic crash against the Subaru driver, Melida Espinal, 40, of Danbury, Conn.

State plans to improve pavement markings and replace or enhance signage at parkway entrances may have saved the life of 22-year-old Jeffrey Divine of Stormville, whose motorcycle was hit head- on by a Subaru traveling the wrong direction on the Taconic.

Trooper Melissa McMorris, a public information officer with the state police, said, "When you enter a roadway, always look for the pavement markings to confirm your intended direction of travel. Just like on a two-lane roadway, the yellow pavement markings should always be to your left, and the white lines will always be on your right"

The state Department of Transportation has begun an initiative to improve pavement markings and signage on the Taconic Parkway, according to Jennifer Post, a state DOT spokeswoman.

"Among other things, that project will replace or enhance signage at exit ramps on the Taconic, making it even clearer which way motorists should be driving in order to discourage wrong way access,'' Post said on Thursday. "The existing signage meets state and federal standards.

"The state DOT is scheduled to accept bids next month for sign improvements along the Taconic in Westchester County, Post said.

"We are scheduled to get bids for a second contract in June (2016) for sign improvements on the Taconic in Putnam, Dutchess and Columbia counties,'' Post said.

Similar sign updates and improvements are scheduled for the Sprain Brook and Palisades Interstate parkways in the next few years, Post added.

On Feb. 28, a 46-year-old NYPD detective from Hartsdale was killed by a 20-year-old drunken driver from Yonkers heading north on the southbound lanes of the Sprain Brook Parkway in Greenburgh. The wrong-way driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Late that same day, a 39-year-old drunken driver from Ossining entered Route 9A in the wrong direction at Route 117 in Mount Pleasant, before crashing into a southbound vehicle near the entrance to the Taconic Parkway. One person was hospitalized in that crash..

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