Long Island Lawmaker Calls For Results From DOT Study On Southern State Parkway

Sophia Hall
September 16, 2020 - 1:28 pm
Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

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MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) In the wake of the deadly wrong-way crash on the Southern State Parkway on Tuesday morning, a Long Island assemblywoman is now urging the state to speed up a study on the exits and entrance ramps and make safety improvements.

Authorities are still investigating why a 33-year-old man drove the wrong way down the Southern State Parkway, killing himself and three others in a fiery crash.

On Wednesday, however, Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages told WCBS 880 the technology to stop wrong-way crashes exists and should be in place on the parkway to either stop a car on the ramp from going the wrong way, or alert authorities when it happens.

“So there’s alerts that are either magnetic, or sensors that alert the authorities, even simple reverse spikes that can be put in place, so that if a wrong-way driver were to go down a ramp, their tires would get blown out,” she explains. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018 signed a bill that would give the New York State Department of Transportation two years to study the highway’s exits and entrance ramps and provide recommendations to improve it. 

The DOT has yet to provide findings from the study, but speaking at Exit 13 on the Southern State Parkway, Assemblywoman Solages explained the “Do Not Enter” signs are nearly impossible to see, even in broad daylight. 

“Frequently, this signage that’s in the middle of the peninsula, they’re all knocked down,” Solages tells WCBS 880.

Solages, who sponsored the bill signed by Cuomo in 2018, is now urging the DOT to finish the study and help improve the roadway, stressing, “There is a human toll to this.”

The State Department of Transportation has not yet responded to WCBS 880’s request for comment.

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