Sunday's crash revives interest in improvements to Route 32

State Route 32 is both winding and hilly, leading to concerns about traffic safety.

NEW SCOTLAND — Accidents on Route 32 in New Scotland have prompted the town to continue nudging the state to do something about the potentially dangerous state-owned road.

Last Sunday, July 27, two cars crashed at the intersection of Route 32 and Cedar Grove Road, commonly known as Meads Corner, which turns into Tarrytown Road on the other side.
Previous to this, the town has heard from many residents about their concerns regarding the hills and curves on State Route 32 that make some intersections dangerous.

In 2000, the state Department of Transportation conducted a design study on the stretch of Route 32 between Routes 308 and 301, or Unionville-Feura Bush Road and Cedar Grove Road.

Town Councilman Douglas LaGrange, who lives off of Route 32 about two miles north of the 32-Cedar Grove Road intersection said the state did do construction to straighten Route 32 going south towards Westerlo, below that intersection.

However, he said, state funds dried up and no work was done on the stretch of road in the 2000 design study, all of which is in New Scotland.

Brian Viggiani, a spokesman for New York DOT, said that working on that section of the road “would have made it even more of a straightaway, which may have the unintended consequence of increased speed.”

Viggiani also said that the DOT has to look at the types of accidents that happened in the area, and all their unique factors, to determine if changes to the road would have an impact on accident frequency.

LaGrange agreed that, while changing the geometry of the intersection may lessen the likelihood of certain types of accidents tied strictly to the condition and shape of the road, ones involving driving while intoxicated and other outside factors may not decrease.

He isn’t sure if a traffic light would prevent all accidents outright, but thinks having one there “would be a good start.”

The town has been corresponding with the DOT since the study was done in 2000, and sent the department another letter as recently as the beginning of July this year.

“We’ve gotten the supervisor’s letter,” Viggiani said, “and are going to take a hard look at the safety of that intersection.”

Supervisor Thomas Dolin was out of town this week and could not be reached for comment.

LaGrange emphasized that there are other intersections along Route 32 that have the potential to be very dangerous, but “this spot seems to be the one that would take the least amount of remediation to make it safer,” he said.

 

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