Klein asks review of Hutch off-ramp signage

Exit 3E off the northbound side of the Hutchinson River Parkway (r) can be treacherous as cars careening off the expressway have destroyed cars. - Photo by Patrick Rocchio

After years of intoxicated drivers plowing into parked cars near the corner of the Hutchinson River Parkway service road and E. 197th Street in Pelham Bay, new measures may begin to slow down motorists exiting the Hutch at exit 3E.

Noticing that dozens of cars have careened into parked vehicles upon reaching the intersection’s triangular center, the Pelham Bay Tax Payers and Community Association reached out to Senator Jeff Klein for help.

Klein subsequently wrote a letter to the Department of Transportation asking them to look into the possibility of putting 20 mile-per-hour speed limit signs on the exit, with the opportunity for further improvements after a complete study.

“Obviously, one of the things the Pelham Bay Taxpayers are very concerned about is traffic,” Klein said. “I have asked the DOT commissioner to do a traffic study of the entire area, which is scheduled to be completed in the fall.”

Klein has also called on the state DOT to open an entrance to Co-op City off the Hutch so excess traffic doesn’t burden the Pelham Bay community as motorists pass through on their way to the housing development.

The move can’t come soon enough for one area resident. 

“Many years ago, after both my car and my husband’s car were simultaneously demolished by a speeding car, I requested a full stop sign on the service road after the Hutchinson River Parkway Exit 3E,” stated Anita Valenti, of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association. “We got a full stop sign, but it is on Mayflower Avenue, which does not slow speeding traffic coming off the Hutch.”

The accidents continue at a steady pace, and Valenti said a change is in order.

 “We just had an accident two weeks ago in which a drunk driver came off the Hutch and smashed into a parked SUV, which [totaled] another parked car,” she explained.

The state DOT is reviewing Klein’s request with plans to address the concerns in the near future. 

“We received the letter from Senator Klein in April,” confirmed state DOT spokesman Adam Levine. “The senator asked us to look at a couple of different things, including the 20-mph-exit signs.”

Levine said the state DOT, which has authority over all highways, is still examining different possibilities to improve traffic patterns while limiting the burden placed on residential streets.

“We are investigating it, but we don’t have any definite answers yet,” Levine stated. “We hope to have something in the near future.”

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