DOT To Study Highway Off-ramp Concerns

Motorists exiting the Throgs Neck Expressway at Harding Avenue are asking for visibility improvements.

In December 2010, the I-295 ramp near the Throgs Neck Bridge was split so motorists could go right towards Pennyfield Aenue or left towards Harding Avenue and Locust Point.

Hedges and traffic attenuators put in place when the ramp was reconstructed are blocking visibility for low-riding vehicles, drivers re claiming.

Senator Jeff Klein has asked the New York State Department of Transportation and other agencies to make some minor changes.

A group of local residents met with Klein and representatives from Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, the state DOT, and MTA at the off-ramp on Monday, May 9.

“I helped bring together relevant government agencies, stakeholders and community members to make sure that exit 9 is safe and not a blight on the community,” Klein said. “I still think that much work needs to be done. At the very least I believe that there should be signage alerting motorists to the upcoming intersection. I will continue to fight to make sure that our government agencies live up to their responsibility to public safety.”

The meeting was initiated by Lynn Gerbino, president of the Throggs Neck Home Owners Association. Several of her members, particularly those who are short or who drive low-riding vehicles, expressed concern about having to inch out into the service road because they could not see existing traffic.

“It is only a matter of vision. The attenuators and shrubs are really making it difficult for some of my members to see cars coming from the left,” Gerbino said. “We are still trying to determine what agencies are responsible for making further changes, but everyone listened to one another and we had a good meeting.”

The rolling pin shaped traffic attenuators that were part of the reconstruction are also obstructing vision, Gerbino said.

“We are looking to improve vision for people in small cars when they come off exit 9 going towards Locust Point,” said Ben Randazzo, chief-of-staff for Assemblyman Benedetto. “Several remedies were discussed and are being reviewed by the various agencies that are involved. After this matter has been studied, they will come back to us and we will make a decision and determination.”

State DOT acknowledged it is looking into the matter, but has yet to set a timetable, said spokesman Adam Levine.

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