New Paltz intersection near bicycle crashes gets a four-way stop

Four-way stop signs were recently insatlled at the intersection of Butterville Road, Route 299 West and Albany Post Road in New Paltz. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Sometimes what is asked for manifests in unexpected ways. Drivers along Route 299 West in New Paltz were surprised last Thursday to discover that a new four-way stop sign had been installed at the intersection of Albany Post and Butterville roads. Locals, who had been complaining about the frequency of crashes along that stretch for years, ratcheted up their efforts in the wake of Gabriella O’Shea being struck and left to fend for herself last September. In particular, they and town leaders wanted to see the speed limit reduced to 45 mph, but state transportation officials denied that request. In response, county workers were directed to put up the new stop signs.

While it’s a shock to discover a stop sign along a 55 mph road, it’s not unprecedented. Four years ago one was installed on Lucas Avenue in the Town of Rochester at the intersection with Kyserike Road. Requests to reduce the speed on Lucas had also been ignored by state officials, who have all the authority on such questions.

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New Paltz Town Supervisor Neil Bettez said at the town council meeting held that night, August 17, that he was only advised about the new sign at about 5 that afternoon. County planning department head Dennis Doyle advised in a letter that the intersection would be studied to determine if more safety measures need to be put in place. Additionally, $4.5 million has been secured to continue the shoulder-widening that now ends at Butterville Road to the western end of Route 299.

There are 3 comments

  1. Upstate Guy

    Good! It’s about time. The ram-rod mentality of our local drivers along this stretch of road is shocking. I’ve been nearly rear ended dozens of times as I turn on my turn signal and slow to make the turn. Folks jamming along in their pick-ups have no regard for others on the road. We should station a few police along here as well and ticket the hell out of people until they get the message – or better, have their licenses suspended.
    We need the same enforcement at Butterville and Moutain Road – people jam through that 4-way stop all the time. Usually – in pick-ups. Sorry the rest of us are in ‘your’ way. But pull your head out of your arse.

  2. FunkieGunkie

    @Upstate Guy. The speed limit is 55 mph. Not 30, 40, 45. If someone rears ends you it’s thier fault. No need to hate on “pick-up trucks”. And BTW there are 5 police departments in New Paltz and they do just a fine job pulling everyone over. Traffic is a real and dangerous issue and this area was overlooked by the New Paltz Planning Board as they turned a blind eye regarding Mohonk Preserve and the addition of two more parking lots along this stretch of road. The accident rate is 12x’s higher at this intersection. But the Town stated more tourism and parking lots wouldn’t be any impact on the neighborhood and traffic issues. So if you think stop signs will make things better wait until their are two more parking areas along Rt. 299 and let’s see how traffic is affected.

  3. JH

    I had the incredibly unfortunate luck of being involved in two car crashes in the same day at this intersection back in the summer of 2013. Thank the Lord, both myself and the passenger with me in the car that day lived through both (though we were both hospitalized). Both were caused by young drivers running the stop sign on Albany Post Road and flying across 299 onto Butterville Road. I remember the police officer telling us after the first crash that people had died at that intersection. Without the stop signs, it is an extremely dangerous spot, as there is a hill and you cannot see traffic coming from either Albany Post Road or Butterville Road when you’re headed westbound on 299 at 55mph until you’re right on it. The stop signs are a good thing and were critically needed. Hopefully it’ll spare someone else going through what I went through.

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