AREA NEWSThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Somers Instituting Mahopac Avenue Safety Measures

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Somers Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy
Somers Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy

After listening to concerns of residents in December, the Town of Somers is implementing a series of safety measurers for Mahopac Avenue, Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy said during the Jan. 5 town board meeting.

The road has been the site of traffic accidents that have claimed the lives of two children in recent years and several Somers residents told the town board on Dec. 8 there needed to ways to slow traffic on the street.

The most recent deadly accident occurred on the street on Nov. 19 when seven-year-old Madison Bookall lost her life in a one-car accident.

During the Dec. 8 meeting, Mahopac Avenue resident Jamie Mandel presented a 268-signature petition to the town board. “We are asking for additional stop signs at the intersections and for guide rails on the north side of the road at Stonewall Farms,” she said.

“There are two significant problems on Mahopac Avenue,” Mandel, who did not attend the Jan. 5 town board meeting, said.” One is the lack of a shoulder on the road at Stonewall Farms. The second is the speeding and lack of stop signs along the long, open track of road”

Mandel said there are five-foot drop off at points on the north side ofMahopac Avenue. “Tom Sheverini, supervisor of the highway department, explained that the drop off next to the road is so close to the road and is so extreme that the ground would have to be built up physically to put the guide rails in place,” Mandel said in December.

During the Jan. 5 town board meeting, Murphy outlined a series of steps the town was taking to improve the safety of Mahopac Avenue, after meeting with Sheverini and Police Chief Michael Driscoll. Some of the steps being taken include having signs indicating the speed limit be 20 miles per hour at the north side of Mahopac Avenue, which has drop off of five-feet in some places and the purchasing radar detectors Murphy said the town is exploring if cameras legally be placed on the radar detectors so be used to ticket speeders. “Some companies will place cameras on traffic control devices and get a share of the revenue,” Murphy said. But before the cameras can be placed on the speed detectors, special legislation would first need to be approved by the state Legislature, she said.  With or without cameras, speed detectors are effective in convincing speeding motorists to slow down, Murphy said.

The highway department is examining other ideas, including if it would be feasible to place a partial guardrail on the north side of Mahopac Avenue, Murphy said.


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