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Residents Plea for Safety Measures on Mahopac Avenue

SOMERS, N.Y. – Shortly after Paul Mueller and Jamie Mandel, his wife, moved to Mahopac Avenue in Somers, Mueller got to chatting at the post office about traffic problems on the road. The two people agreed that, “something ought to be done.”

That was 11 years ago. Since then, Mahopac Avenue, a long straight road that connects Route 35 to Route 6, has gotten much busier. These days, “there are even more cars and more trucks,” said Mueller. “A couple of weeks ago they repaved the road and now people drive even faster." Mueller also anticipates increased traffic on the road because of an apartment complex being built on Route 6.

There have been a number of fatal accidents along the way. Several years ago a teenager was killed and now the recent fatality has reinforced the problem.

The Muellers are asking the Town of Somers to correct the problem. They have distributed fliers, organized a petition, and posted signs in the post office. So far there are about 120 signatures.

“Last June, my wife sent an email to the supervisor saying we love living here, but the road is getting more dangerous," Mueller said. "The email was forwarded to the highway department and the police department. So now they do give out tickets and put up those electronic speeding devices, but in the long term it hasn’t been effective.”

On Wednesday morning Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy said by telephone, “I’m meeting with the Superintendent of Highways at this very moment. We are just as upset as the residents. We’re looking at the road and will address the issue at next week’s meeting.”

The Mahopac Avenue issue has been added to the Dec. 8 town board agenda. The petition will be presented at that time.

“It’s the driver’s responsibility to be safe, but it’s the community’s responsibility to have a safe road,” Mandel said. “I leave the solution up to the engineers. Even if people don’t stop at stop signs, they’ll be a reminder. The open track invites speeding. We make seatbelt laws. This is a residential street and people are using it as a raceway.”

The petition can be read and signed at the Granite Springs Post Office or online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/help-improve-mahopac-avenue/

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