Officials: Cell Service ‘Dead Zone’ Along Palisades Parkway Endangering Lives

Steve Burns
February 22, 2020 - 2:36 pm
The Palisades Parkway

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – First responders say a cell service “dead zone” along the Palisades Interstate Parkway is endangering lives and making their jobs tougher as officials push for new towers in the area to be completed.

The dead zone is near the Rockland County–Orange County border. Drivers near it will see the service bars on their cell phone decrease until there’s no service at all.

“You break down here, you get into some kind of accident here, you go to call 911 and you cannot,” John Kilduff, president of Tuxedo Volunteer Ambulance Corps, said.

“This is a disgrace that this is such a dead zone for such a long time over an expansive area,” Kilduff said.

State Sen. David Carlucci has accused Verizon of dragging its feet in putting up new cell towers through the stretch, as plans for those towers were approved almost two years ago.

“We’re asking again, Verizon, to put people before profits,” Carlucci said.

State Sen. James Skoufis said he was stranded recently at the northern end of the Palisades Parkway after a breakdown and had no cell service.

"That was the first, and to date, it is the only time, I've had to hitchhike," Skoufis said.

He said it's not only an inconvenience but a public safety concern.

"That is I think emblematic of just how important this real basic issue is to thousands of people who live in our area," Skoufis said.

The towers are being put up by a company called Homeland Towers. It says they'll be built sometime this year.

In a statement, a Verizon spokesman said the company is committed to fixing the issue: “We have been working with the Palisade Interstate Parkway Commission and Homeland Towers on plans to improve coverage. Verizon is committed to having network equipment on the new Homeland Towers sites, and there will be opportunity for other carriers to join.”