Villa Barone crash prompts TNE exit changes

Villa Barone Manor cleaned up quickly in the aftermath of an April 15 accident. A car exiting the Throgs Neck Expressway at Randall Avenue lost ciontrol and crashed into the catering facility’s side door and took out a pillar.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

A car crash at Villa Barone Manor on April 15 has prompted elected officials to call for changes to the Randall Avenue exit of the south-bound Throgs Neck Expressway.

Around 7 a.m. on the Wednesday morning, a car slammed into the catering hall. There were no serious injuries or arrests reported, according to a police spokeswoman.

The car took out a pillar and a side-door, said Councilman James Vacca, who was driving in the neighborhood and stopped at the scene.

“It looked like a bomb had hit the place,” he said.

The accident appeared to be caused by the driver taking the forked exit towards Randall Avenue too fast, clipping a curb and losing control of the car, said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto.

The owners of Villa Barone told Benedetto there have been a number of accidents outside their business over the years.

“Speeding at the location is an issue,” said Vacca.

There have been adjustments made to the exit ramp over the years, but they don’t seem to have helped, the councilman said.

The issue was brought up to the State Department of Transportation a few years ago, said Benedetto, but no changes were made in response to the officials concerns.

The assemblyman has a handlful of ideas to improve the exit, which include installing a stop sign at the exit, making the exit shorter, or using jersey barriers that would narrow the traffic lane to stop any out of control cars coming off the highway.

His office has reached out to the State DOT again, and Benedetto said he hopes they can come up with a creative soluntion to slow traffic at the site.

“People are just coming off the exit too fast,” Benedetto said.

Senator Jeff Klein echoed his collegues on the need for attention at the site.

“This upsetting event sheds light on a critical issue in the Bronx: the need for traffic and roadway designs that work with, not against our communities,” Klein said in a statement about the crash. “I stand with Throggs Neck residents in calling on New York City and State DOT to investigate traffic flow coming off this dangerous exit and the need for new safety measures and expanded protocol.”

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at jwilliams@cnglocal.com.

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