POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Records kept by the Pound Ridge Police Department show that Long Ridge Road, Westchester Avenue and Salem Road are the town’s most dangerous thoroughfares.
While those roads are the site of the most frequent accidents with personal injuries, the number of crashes there has actually been dramatically reduced over the past several years.
Between 2003 and 2006, Salem Road was the site of 33 personal-injury crashes; Long Ridge Road had 24 and Westchester Avenue also had 24. However, between January 2010 and now, the number at Salem Road has been reduced to five, while Long Ridge Road had nine and Westchester Avenue eight.
The department has been keeping records on where accidents occur, including ones that result in deaths and/or personal injuries, for the past 12 years.
Police Chief David Ryan said the drop off on the number of accidents on Salem, Westchester and Long Ridge has been a direct result of police efforts.
“We’ve reduced the speed [limit] on those streets and increased enforcement,” he said. “That has changed driving behavior and that’s what we are trying to do. We are proud of that.”
Ryan said part of the problem is that Pound Ridge’s myriad state roads are used by commuters traveling between New York and Connecticut.
“When I became chief, I was asked [by the Town Board] what my biggest concern would be and I said it was traffic,” Ryan said. “The roads in this town are used primarily for commuting with people going from Connecticut to New York and New York to Connecticut.”
Ryan said his department’s study also cited Route 124, High Ridge Road, West Lane, Upper Shad Road, Cross Pond Road, and High View Road as accident-prone roads.
The chief also noted that, while not making the Top 3 list based on the sheer number of accidents, the intersection of High Ridge and Upper Shad is a common site for “serious or fatal” accidents every year.
“That’s clearly the most dangerous spot in town,” he said. “We went to the DOT and said we need help and need to fix this and reduce the speed to 40 miles per hour. That slowed people down and helped them realize the sight lines.”
Another problem spot, Ryan said, has been the High View and Salem Road intersection where commuter traffic winds through at a high rate of speed. Ryan sought to cut the volume of cars there by eliminating right hand turns off of Salem Road and left hand turns off of Route 35.
“We used to get a lot of rollovers on High View off Salem,” he said. “But now in the last five years we’ve had no accidents on High View with personal injuries.”
Ryan said he would also like to see some changes made at the intersection of High Ridge Road and Horseshoe Road.
“We are pushing hard with the state to install a yellow blinking caution light there and to make significant sightline improvements,” he said.