Motorists are looking for a shortcut onto the Throgs Neck Bridge to beat expressway traffic, and using an off-ramp to the service road as an on-ramp.
An east Bronx elected official is warning about the possibility of a head-on collision at Exit 9 off the Throgs Neck Expressway because of the practice.
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto is calling on the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority and the NYPD to put a stop to drivers who are entering the highway near the Throgs Neck Bridge tolls by using the exit ramp near Harding and Pennyfield avenues in Throggs Neck.
“This is totally unacceptable and an outrageous and dangerous practice,” stated Benedetto, “NYPD and the TNTA need to address this situation immediately before someone is hurt or is killed.”
Making matters worse are severe back-ups on I-295 because of construction on the bridge. This caused motorists to detour through local streets in an attempt to re-enter the highway near the bridge tolls.
When they get near the bridge, they find a blocked and closed on-ramp and choose to use the exit ramp instead of doubling back to a legal entrance. Making a left-hand turn from a south-bound service road lane onto a nearby on-ramp is impossible because it is closed during most times.
The legal on-ramp was closed during most times to avoid the practice of motorists cutting through local streets to avoid traffic – as is the case now – and possibly creating danger to residents of Locust Point if emergency vehicles need to access the only road into their community, located nearby, just past Harding Avenue.
According to Ben Randazzo, Benedetto’s chief-of-staff, after reaching out to the TBTA, he was told that they do not police the area. After reaching out to city DOT, new signage was installed, but it is up to the police department to enforce the traffic laws.
He then reached out to the NYPD to help, and “police have promised look into it,” said Randazzo.
Benedetto wants action to be taken immediately.
“These people (the motorists breaking the law) need to be ticketed and dealt with severely,” said Benedetto. “They are showing that they have no regard for other lawful drivers and are risking their lives and the lives of innocent others.”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393