New York State has committed to installing better signage to help stop bridge strikes by trucks on local parkways.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer called on the state to do something after the number of incidents began to increase in recent months. The current effort will be to install more dramatic and eye catching signs to warn truck drivers about the low bridges on the Hutchinson River Parkway. The State has installed temporary signs that boldly tell drivers “TRUCKS MUST EXIT NOW” at both approaches to the King Street Avenue Bridge on the Hutchinson River Parkway. The State has also informed the County that permanent highly visible signs are in the works.
On July 13, Latimer pulled together officials from Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, Rye Brook, Rye, along with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), state elected officials and the Trucking Association of New York to work together to find ways to stop bridge strikes on the Hutchinson River Parkway and other parkways in Westchester County.
Latimer said: “This is a problem and it is going to stop. We are going to make every effort we can to try to end this. This is a solvable problem. And, I confidently believe that rational people working together can make a difference.”
After the meeting, Latimer said there isn’t going to be one solution, but rather many. Among them:
- NYSDOT agreed to do an immediate assessment of dramatic signage prior to the King Street Bridge on the Hutchinson River Parkway.
- The Trucking Association of New York will work with the County Executive’s office to establish an education program for users of all parkways that would explain the County’s Parkway System.
- Outreach to mapping companies, like Google Maps and Waze, to update their software to add in warnings for trucks and other commercial vehicles.
- Westchester County Police to gather a breakdown of the statistics on the bridge strikes and the NYSDOT to also share the data they have collected.
- Evaluate the location where the height barrier (“head banger”) system could be tested.
- Review of bridge strikes on the Bronx River Parkway.
- NYSDOT to alert local police in real time, along with County Police, of trucks entering parkway.
The New York State Bridge Strike Task Force is set to meet August 22 at the Hudson Valley Traffic Management Center. That group includes the MTA; Port Authority, New York State Police, New York City representatives as well as representatives from Long Island.