What is the deadliest road in New York? The answer may surprise you. Known for its lovely, scenic drive, as well as being the longest parkway in all of New York, the Taconic State Parkway also has the reputation of being the most dangerous.
A recent study covering a three-year-period, recounted approximately 2,100 crashes, the majority of which occurred in Westchester and Putnam Counties. One of the most notorious spots is the intersection of Pudding Street in Putnam Valley.
The Pudding Street intersection was considered particularly dangerous because drivers had to cross both sections of the highway. After years of petitioning, residents finally saw the opening of an overpass that will hopefully reduce the number of accidents in the area.
What Makes the Taconic State Parkway Dangerous
When originally conceived, Franklin Roosevelt sought to preserve the surrounding beauty through which the roadway passes. At the time, with far fewer vehicles on the roadway, the winding, hilly road was designed to be integrated with the pastoral landscape and beautiful farmland views.
However, now with the increase of commuters making their way into New York City, many parts of the Taconic are dangerous, especially in Westchester and Putnam Counties. The narrow roads include areas of steep, rocky ledges, which makes driving on this two-lane road exceptionally hazardous, and even more so in bad weather.
Common Causes of Accidents on the Taconic State Parkway
Despite the Taconic State Parkway being over 104 miles in length, a significant portion of traffic tickets were issued in one particular area. Reports show that of the nearly 54,000 issued in a seven-year period, 18,000 were issued for speeding in Westchester. The tight, narrow lanes make speeding extremely dangerous in the area.
Along with driving too fast, another common cause of accidents resulting in serious injury or death is motorists driving on the wrong side of the road. Multiple wrong-way accidents have occurred in the area including one of the deadliest crashes in state history occurred in Westchester County.
Deadly Wrong-Way Crash in Westchester County
2022 marked the 13th anniversary of a horrific wrong-way collision that took the lives of eight people, including four children. According to the New York Times, a 36-year-old mom was traveling down the wrong side of the Taconic State Parkway in Mount Pleasant when the minivan she was driving collided with an SUV.
Everyone in the minivan except the driver’s 5-year-old son was killed as well as the occupants of the SUV. Individuals in another vehicle were injured in the catastrophic accident. Reports indicate that the minivan driver had traveled nearly two miles down the wrong side of the Parkway before the crash.
Vehicles traveling in the wrong direction on the Taconic is a common and costly problem. The fatal traffic collision was the second one that day involving a motorist on the wrong side of the road. Only hours earlier several people were reportedly injured in another wrong-way crash 20 miles away.
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