New York is no stranger to danger, it wasn’t too long ago that we were letting you know which
dangerous areas of our state you should make a point to avoid after dark. But what about areas of our state that you should even avoid visiting during the day? All across our state you’ll find roads that will make your heart drop, whether it’s due to heavy traffic or tight, winding lanes that make you queasy. But there’s one particular highway and chaotic commute that we wouldn’t even wish upon our worst enemy.
The longest parkway you'll find in all of New York, the Taconic State Parkway is over 104 miles in length.
In 2005 the entire parkway was added to the National Register of Historic Places for holding significant historical importance. If you're not familiar with the parkway's history, the Taconic played an important role in the development of parkways during the 20th century. The parkway is also recognized because President Franklin D. Roosevelt played an important role in creating the scenic road!
While it has a fascinating history, the parkway is now known for being one of the most dangerous highways in our state.
Sadly, if you ever search for pictures of the Taconic Parkway online, almost everything that will initially come up on your screen will be that of past car crashes. Accidents are constantly occurring on this New York highway and it remains to be one of our most dangerous roads.
Many of our residents will be quick to point out that it's not the road that is dangerous, but the reckless drivers that you'll find traveling on it. Regardless, the highway has some alarming reports surrounding it that will make you worried to drive on it. During a three year period that lasted up to July 31, 2014, 2,080 crashes took place on the parkway, nearly all of which happened in Westchester and Putnam. Reports from 2015 claim that our state troopers had issued nearly 54,000 tickets to people traveling along the parkway in the last seven years, the majority being given in Westchester and Putnam. Out of those nearly 54,000 tickets, over 18,000 of them were given for speeding along the stretch of highway in Westchester. Seeing a pattern here?
Most of the parkway consists of tight, narrow two-lane roads that will keep your eyes glue straight ahead.
The majority of the Taconic Parkway remains very narrow, with only two lanes. Accidents easily happen when cars make the slightest of swerves in these narrow areas of the road, especially during bad weather. The southern areas of the highway are known to be constantly crowded with those who are commuting to New York City. Those who frequently travel along this highway urge our other residents and out-of-town travelers to pay attention to the signs along the way and to make sure you feel safe traveling during times when we're experiencing fog, rain or snow.
One of the most common causes of accidents on the parkway is created by travelers who end up traveling on the wrong side of the road.
If you're a long time resident of New York, then you're most likely familiar with the tragedy that took place back in 2009. A woman driving a minivan down the wrong side of the highway for nearly two miles eventually struck an SUV, resulting in the deaths of eight people. The accident remains to be one of the most deadly that has ever taken place on the Taconic Parkway.
Before the 2009 accident, a bus crash that resulted in the death of 20 people in Ossining during the summer of 1934 was deadliest accident to take place in Westchester, New York. Sadly, this is just one of the many cases of accidents being caused on the highway by those who were driving on the wrong side of the road.
A particularly dangerous area that many of our residents have concern about is the Pudding Street Intersection of the parkway.
Located in Putnam Valley, Pudding Street intersects with the north and southbound lanes of the Taconic Parkway. Those traveling on Pudding Street have to cross over both of the highway's lanes (pictured above) and it's become a main area for accidents to occur. In recent years local residents have petitioned for the state to create an overpass at the intersection, to help prevent any further accidents from happening.
It isn't just the cars you have to worry about. Last fall, just a few miles north of the Pudding Street intersection, an SUV flipped over after large boulders and rocks came sliding down onto the parkway.
Have you ever personally experienced the mayhem that occurs on the Taconic State Parkway? To learn about other areas you should avoid, be sure to read where our
Top 15 Most Dangerous Places In New York can be found.