City Island filmmakers expose dangerous Shore Road conditions

Motorists using Shore Road attempt to pass each other while avoiding dangerous ice, potholes and pools of water affecting both lanes.
Photo by James Breen

A video released last week reveals there is no smooth sailing for motorists traveling Shore Road.

City Island natives, James and Thomas Breen recorded the short film ‘Shore Road Dangers’ highlighting the hazardous conditions of this long winding Pelham Bay Park road.

The two-lane roadway that leads to Westchester County is scarred by potholes, faded road markings, constrictive icy lanes and groundwater flooding.

Residing just north of the city, the brothers use Shore Road daily when visiting their parents on the island.

They have witnessed many near accidents as vehicles veer towards one another to avoid the road’s treacherous condition.

The brothers, professional filmmakers, decided to take action by recording the roadway near Pelham Split Rock Golf Course.

On Monday, February 15, James and Thomas filmed there for a half hour using three cameras: a remote control drone to capture footage of motorists traversing the road, a handheld camera to present a pedestrian view of the issues and a GoPro Camera attached to the brother’s car as they traveled Shore Road.

“There were four to five close calls in that half hour and it was during the daytime,” said Thomas.

The brothers posted the video to Facebook and Vimeo and it reached 10,000 views in the first 24 hours. The video now has over 13,000 views, Thomas said.

Pelham Parkway resident Debra Kawalick attested to these claims and addressed them before Community Board 10 at their Thursday, February 18 meeting.

“I’ve been driving that road for many years and it’s always been neglected,” said Kawalick. “The city needs to fix the drainage problem there and not just fill the potholes.”

CB 10 said they will pen a letter to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection addressing the concerns.

Councilman James Vacca explained Shore Road needs a total reconstruction to address its lack of curbs and catch basins.

The councilman said the full reconstruction of Shore Road is a NYC Department of Transportation project, but the road is located on park land.

“We need to make this a multi-agency project,” said Vacca, adding.

“Shore Road was never properly constructed and the city needs to look at grading this road to make it level as well as construct curbs and catch basins to alleviate the drainage issue there. NYC DOT, Parks and DEP must determine who does what and when,” he said.

He added these agencies must determine jurisdiction over Shore Road and put into place interim solutions.

Wiley Norvell, City Hall deputy press secretary, said the city received three complaints this year about Shore Road’s conditions and has responded to them.

DEP has determined that natural water seepage from underground springs is likely leading to the road’s deterioration.

DOT will continue road maintenance to ensure Shore Road’s potholes are filled and the agencies will collaborate on a long-term solution to the issue.

A Parks spokesman said DOT will take the lead on addressing Shore Road’s situation.

A spokeswoman from Senator Jeff Klein’s office said they have received and resolved a series of complaints regarding broken lights along Shore Road.

To view the video, visit www.vimeo.com/155833109.

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