Open Letter to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation
August 22, 2013
Commissioner Joan McDonald
New York State Department of Transportation
50 Wolf Road
Albany, New York 12232
Dear Commissioner McDonald:
As you may know, I am the Senate sponsor of Senate Bill 7399-A (2012), a piece of legislation that requires the State Department of Transportation and the State Thruway Authority to submit an annual report to the Governor and Legislature regarding the safety of the state's roadways and to reduce the risk of crashes.
Senate Bill 7399-A was in response to a May, 2012 tragedy on the Bronx River Parkway where a 7-member family's vehicle flipped over the barrier and fell 60-feet below. This legislation was in response to the safety concerns of the millions of people who drive on the Bronx River Parkway, the New York State Thruway and its highways.
I was encouraged to see that the outer barriers that were replaced on that section of the Bronx River Parkway are higher than the ones that were there previously.
However, it has come to my attention that the northbound outer barriers on the newly renovated Henry Hudson Bridge are lower in height than the new barriers on the Bronx River Parkway. I am concerned that the low barriers on the northbound traffic road of the Henry Hudson Bridge may not prevent the same type of tragedy.
As a Member of the Senate Transportation Committee, I am requesting an investigation of this potentially dangerous situation.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your earliest reply.
Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz
32nd Senate District