Reckless at Breakneck

Last weekend brought large numbers of hikers to Breakneck Ridge for the first time this spring. At mid-afternoon on Sunday, three hot-rodders in succession demonstrated their three-point-turn skills at the most congested section of Route 9D, just north of the tunnel. The photographer dubbed them Larry, Moe and Curly.

Photos by Michael Turton

The Current is a nonprofit supported by its readers; please consider a year-end gift.

17 Responses to "Reckless at Breakneck"

  1. Zanne Stewart
    Zanne Stewart   April 27, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Bracing myself the next six months of very defensive driving along that stretch.

  2. Patricia Curcuruto Biondi
    Patricia Curcuruto Biondi   April 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    This road is a disaster waiting to happen. Someone is going to be killed.

    • Anne Eva
      Anne Eva   April 27, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      I know! The pedestrians! The people angling for parking! The drivers late to work!

  3. Stephen Browne   April 27, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Dumb, dumber and dumbest!

  4. Ralph Basso
    Ralph Basso   April 27, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Where are the police?

  5. Patricia Kennedy   April 27, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    The speed limit should be 30. I think that some speed bumps would help as well. It’s extremely dangerous on that stretch.

  6. Mark Giordano   April 27, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    A good solution is to start charging for parking. Hopefully that would minimize the crowds. That or have the police start enforcing the parking/traffic violations. more.

  7. Shelley Gilbert   April 27, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Changing the speed limit along 9D would be a simple, effective action that would make this driving corridor much safer for cars and pedestrians. Our inability to change the speed limit is an example of the powerlessness citizens feel. I guess we bring it up at the Town Board again.

  8. Erin Giunta   April 27, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Is this seriously news?

  9. Michael Armstrong   April 27, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    I call this traffic management by child sacrifice. In this century, in this place, we should be civilized enough to know when a road — 9D north of Cold Spring — is really, really dangerous. We should not demand to see the blood of a child before we act to reduce the legal speeds.

  10. Jonathan Kruk   April 28, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Speed bumps and a thirty mike limit would only impede weekday, traffic hindering those of us needing to travel expeditiously on Route 9 to get to work. Charging for parking? Now there’s a better solution.

  11. Wade Hathaway   April 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Time-specific speed reduction is probably the best start. Can we purpose “30 MPH when Flashing” signs? Increased traffic enforcement would also help. Development of the walking/bike path between Cold Spring and Beacon would help. Lots of options, little motivation to act.

    Paid parking makes sense if the state actually invests in a proper parking lot, but this would do little regarding the traffic. (Why would we want to discourage the number of people actually coming? A lot of these people spend money in our communities.)

    • Michael Armstrong   April 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      We routinely reduce speed limits on school days “when children are present,” and motorists who drive faster than the reduced limits can be stopped and ticketed. Why couldn’t the idea be adapted to the summertime and spring and fall weekends when children are present, in places like Breakneck?

      It should be obvious to anyone who has driven out of Cold Spring north on 9D on a sunny fall weekend that someone is going to get hurt if the speeds are not reduced. (I also suggest that passing should not be allowed.)

      Adding more parking in the State Park lands along 9D, making that parking safer, and asking people to pay for it are all ideas that make sense to me, but only if some of the money earned goes to much better enforcement of the (reduced) speed limit and illegal parking. I’d use some of the tens of thousands of dollars the State will earn from metering the parking every year to installing and maintaining flashing yellow pedestrian crossing lights, or even pedestrian-controlled crossings, at three or four places up to the point where 9D north of the tunnel bends up the hill.

  12. Frank Haggerty   April 30, 2018 at 12:40 am

    The police and the sheriff cannot be expected to be present every time there is a near accident or a discourteous or foolish driver.

    This situation along Route 9D is but one, local example of a general increase in lawlessness, carelessness, recklessness, and misgovernance. People learn from the example. Good and bad examples are both on display, generally. People have to decide how they want to live. Other then setting a good example there are no simple solutions.

    The speed limit is too high in and near the tunnel. Parking should be prohibited along the blind curves. The parks in this state should be properly funded, managed, and policed. Some of the funding may come from fee-based parking.

  13. Anthony Merante   April 30, 2018 at 1:11 am

    I used to bike that road; now I won’t even drive it. Thought I’d never say this, but Route 9 is safer! 9D to Bear Mountain Bridge is just as bad. A trooper now and then — or often — couldn’t hurt.

  14. Joe Zukowski   May 7, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Speed was never the issue until now. We grew up there and never really had any issues. Now we, the citizens of this area, are subjected to what I consider to be unreasonable criticism and restrictions that will impact our lives unfairly.

    Do not allow any parking next to tunnel, and if you do not have a plan for growth, do not infringe on the rest of us.

  15. Michael Armstrong   May 9, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Thirty years ago, a 55-mph limit on 9D north of Cold Spring might have been reasonable. Today, it is clearly unreasonable. Every weekend when the weather is mild, hundreds of people — including families with young children — crowd the narrow shoulders of this road.

    None of us has a God-given right to drive at a speed of our own choosing, anywhere we choose. We do share, however, the moral obligation to value the safety of those visiting our community, and to accept reductions in the legal speeds when circumstances change.