YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A traffic light has been installed at the intersection of routes 118 and 129 in Yorktown, replacing the flashing yellow light that has been there since 2012.
State Sen. Terrence Murphy lobbied for the change last year and the New York State Department of Transportation, after performing a traffic study, obliged. A Yorktown resident, Murphy said several of his constituents complained that the intersection was a tragedy waiting to happen.
“Hopefully it will stop a lot more accidents,” Murphy said Tuesday, July 10, in a Facebook Live video filmed at the intersection.
Joining Murphy was Yorktown Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli. Though 118 and 129 are state roads, Paganelli stressed how important the traffic light is.
“This is really a matter of public safety and having a controlled intersection,” Paganelli said.
The intersection once had a traffic light from 2010 to 2012 to control increased traffic while the AMVETS Bridge over the Croton Reservoir was under construction. A traffic study was performed at that time, but the state decided that a full traffic signal was not needed, Gina DiSarro, a public information officer for the Department of Transportation, previously told Yorktown News.
Paganelli and Murphy, both then Yorktown councilmen, said they asked the state to leave the traffic light in place.
“We have no idea why they took it out. We had requested it remain then,” Paganelli said. “Now we have a safe intersection and everyone benefits from this.”
Angelo Frangela, a school bus driver in Yorktown, said on Facebook that the light was “long overdue.”
“As a school bus driver who has had to go through that intersection about 800 to 900 times during the last two years, I am so elated, as are many of the other drivers,” Frangela said.
It may take a while for motorists to get used to the change. As Murphy closed out his Facebook Live video, a driver in a mini-van turned left onto Route 118 through a red light.
When news of a new light was posted to Yorktown News’ Facebook page, many readers praised the news and even suggested additional intersections for the town and the state to investigate:
- Taconic State Parkway southbound/Underhill Avenue
- Quaker Church Road/Granite Springs Road
- Route 118/Commerce Street
- Pines Bridge Road/Route 100
- Ridge Street/Route 202
Some residents, however, suggested there are other traffic-calming measures that are more effective than traffic lights, such as roundabouts.