For the past 18 months, passing through the intersection of Route 118 and Route 129 in Yorktown made drivers feel as if they were playing bumper cars. However, Senator Terrence Murphy and the residents of Yorktown didn't find any humor in the situation. Senator Murphy, the New York Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) and the Town of Yorktown worked together to have a three-color traffic light installed at the intersection.
"A number of residents called my office saying the intersection was a safety hazard and that drivers were making dangerous turns or speeding through the intersection," said Senator Murphy. "I want to thank the D.O.T. for coming out, assessing the situation, and installing a new traffic light. Hopefully, there will be fewer accidents here in the future."
Yorktown Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli stated, "This would not have happened if it wasn't for Senator Murphy. He's a hometown hero in Yorktown. Getting this traffic light back is a matter of public safety. Now we have an intersection that is less hazardous. Everyone benefits from having a light here."
A full traffic light had been at the intersection during the construction of the AMVETS Bridge, but it was replaced by warning signs upon its completion. A flashing yellow light was installed at the intersection, but it too was judged insufficient. Drivers complained about the poor sight lines in both directions at the intersection. The ongoing ironic joke was that anyone attempting to pass through the intersection had to keep their head on a swivel to get through safely.
At Senator Murphy's request, a signal study was conducted and it was decided that the flashing yellow light should be replaced by a full traffic signal.