Concerned Citizens on Loop Parkway Safety [Opinion]

I received these two messages just a few minutes apart from one another ; both regarding Loop parkway. Is there is a Loop Parkway safety issue? What do you folks think?

From a reader named Matt:

Today there was another 5 car collision at the end of the loop parkway before the Meadowbrook exit ramp.  Have you, or any of your readers noticed the frequency of these accidents?  I think they began after the state made the 2 lane exit ramp into a 1 lane exit ramp several years ago.  

I always drive to work at 8:20ish and see accidents in the same spot on a regular basis.  I tried calling the DOT and they just mention FOIA requests blah blah… 

The spot seems like a tragedy waiting to happen.  An accident after the accident when people are outside of their vehicles.

Any idea what can be done to find out exactly how frequent the accidents are here?  Is the road design defective?   What is the deal?  I truly worry when traffic slows down there that someone is going to plow into the rear of my car.

Any thoughts?

From a reader named John:

WTF is with the loop parkway. Ever since they reconfigured the  eastbound n/s entrances to the meadowbrook, I feel like there’s been weekly accidents, especially throughout the summer.  This morning, after sitting on the loop for close to 40 minutes, I drove past 9 cars that were evidently involved in the mother of all fender benders….the reason today’s backup.  Is it just me, or did the frequency of these type of accidents shoot up dramatically since the reconfiguration? I’ve been taking the road twice a day per my commute for the past decade.  While accidents certainly happened before, I don’t think they were anywhere near as frequent.  Did NYS DOT actually make the road more dangerous?  I’d love to get other people’s perspectives to see if it’s just me or not.  What do you think?

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13 thoughts on “Concerned Citizens on Loop Parkway Safety [Opinion]”

  1. the loop is fine. the previous two lane ramp was way to crazy a set up. people trying to outdo each other racing on the ramp, and sometimes ending up over the guard rail.

    if people merge when they are supposed to and not speed the new configuration is fine. the solid line ramp lane starts for hundred yards before you get to the ramp. you can say itsthe ramps problem when a jablomee is late for work and just wants to cut everyone off at the last second.

  2. I don’t drive the Loop everyday commuting, but on weekends I do. People are always trying to race down the right lane to cut to the front of the left lane before the ramp. That means illegally crossing over the solid line. Perhaps putting some sort of divider on the solid line?

  3. I drive this route every morning at 8:30am and have for years now. The merging issue is actually a HUMAN ISSUE. Drivers seem to be doing everything BUT paying attention to the road. I saw the accident this AM, plenty previous and we can blame it on people not taking driving seriously. The United States standards for teaching people how to drive and educating them on the rules of the road couldn’t be more of a joke.

  4. I’ve been commuting this way for longer than I care to remember and I am of the opinion that there has been wayyyyy more incidents since they changed the ramp from 2 lanes to 1. Yes, there may have been some merging issues at the end of the ramp when it went to one lane, but people were already slowing down because of the turn and their were proper signs alerting people. Now, you have to merge while still on the Loop. This causes a few issues. One is that people that are either not paying attention or don’t do the drive often don’t realize that you have to merge so at last minute, they cut everybody off. Also… i know everybody ‘should’ drive the limit, people don’t. Fly in the left and cruise in the right. So now, you have cruisers in the left while the fliers are speeding down the right lane and cutting everybody off. Not only is this dangerous, but it causes traffic all the way down the Loop. While it was 2 lane exit, you may have to deal with the idiot that doesn’t know how to merge, but at least this merge and traffic were off the Loop and on the ramp at slower speeds.

  5. oh… and another thing. When the State first did this change, people freaked out (including me) and apparently, Newsday got inundated with e-mails and phone calls about this. when Newsday checked with the state, they said that it was becuase too many people were hitting the gard-rail and it was costing the state too much money to keep fixing it. Fast-forward to today and the gard-rails are still NOT fixed even though this was the reason for the traffic chaos they caused. What has it been? 4 or 5 years?

  6. JRLB, you are absolutely correct.After talking to a recent DMV permit test taker,I was told that 7 of 20 questions had to do with impaired driving. Maybe if DMV tested more about driving we’d all be better off.

  7. Been driving on the Loop Parkway my entire life. Ever since they changed the configuration it has become much worse and much more dangerous.

    The current setup is absurd! You have cars just starting to accelerate to “parkway” speeds and then out of nowhere you go over a bridge at 55 mph (fine, sometimes a few more, and sometimes people go even faster) BAM you must get into either the right or left lane NOW!!
    People switch lanes and if you get in the left lane you are usually met with brake lights from the cars ahead.

    I had an experience. I was stopped in the left lane, in the typical traffic caused by “over-reaction” braking trying to enter the meadowbrook parkway to the left. In my rearview mirror I watched a car spin out of control, hit the guardrail between me and the car behind me and then spin right past me. It was a rainy day and in the end everyone walked away, but the new setup makes people stop very short instead of “merge”……

    Just my opinion, I am not a traffic engineer, just a life long critic…..

  8. There has to be something said though for the increase in accidents anywhere coinciding with the advent of texting while driving. People are so consumed & addicted to their phones that they must check it every few minutes.

    In relation to Loop Pkwy, the all-time worst case I saw of this was this pathetic excuse of a human being driving southbound on the Loop earlier this summer. He was swerving over the middle lane slightly, then onto the shoulder slightly. I was approaching in the left lane from behind cautiously because I was giving him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he was falling asleep at the wheel, his swerving was that erratic. When I pull up next to him, it’s this 300+lb lawyer/stockbroker type texting in one hand while holding a mammoth cigar in the other, laughing hysterically responding to some message he just read on his phone.
    I honk at him to pay attention to the road and he just ignores me. We then pull onto Lido Blvd and he is ahead of me again, still swerving. Here’s the clincher: I guess he felt a sense of duty & respect for his fellow drivers on the road because what did he do next?
    Did he pull into the marina to finish texting?
    Did he close his phone and wait till he got home in 4 minutes?
    NO! He put his goddamn flashing hazard lights on and continued texting while driving!!
    As if to say, “Hey, proceed carefully around me here, I’m texting”
    I’ve never wanted to drive someone into a utility pole more in my life.

    Sorry for the venting tangent, hadn’t expressed that experience properly since it happened.

  9. I agree with those who say it’s the last minute lane changers that cause the problem. Towards the eastern end, the left lane goes north and the right lane goes south. Most people travel north, but a few people wait until the last possible second to switch over because they want to be further ahead.

    The same thing happens when turning on to the Loop from Lido Blvd when approaching from the west. Though in this case, what often happens is the left lane moves over into the turning lane and the middle lane then shifts into the left lane (which becomes a turning lane). However, sometimes a driver in the left lane doesn’t move over into the new turning lane so the driver in the middle lane find him/herself stuck and then needs to jockey for position.

    (Since the two lanes merge shortly after that intersection heading into Point Lookout, I’m not sure why they just don’t make the left lane and the center lane turning lanes and the right lane alone go straight and not have to do the 2-to-1 deal. Then there’d be no lane jockeying going on AND the end result would be the same, two lanes to the Loop, one to Point Lookout.)

    The same thing also happens further up the Meadowbrook where the Southern State exits left. There’s never any traffic backed up there, but there is on the two (!) lanes of the Meadowbrook that continue north that get bogged down with all the traffic merging in from the Southern State. People stay in the left lane as long as possible because they don’t want to be sitting in traffic, but when the lane becomes the exit ramp, they slam on their brakes, hold up traffic and try to squeeze in.

    There should be a rule taught in driver’s ed and enforced: if you missed your turn, you keep going; you don’t make your problem someone else’s problem.

    Missed the Loop to Meadowbrook northbound? Tough, you’re going south. I’m sure you’ll figure out how to get back north in a mile or two.

    Find yourself in a left turn lane when you meant to go straight? Guess who gets to make a left turn and not hold up everyone else behind you who wants to go through the green turning arrow that you’re just sitting at because you want to go straight … you!

    Realized you missed your exit on the parkway? Don’t drive backwards on the shoulder, take the next exit and double back.

  10. State DOT will never change this back to a 2 lane ramp. The “safety” kooks worked for years to get it down to 1 lane, convinced that the road would be safer because a lot of people took the turn too fast (mostly drunks coming out of LB) and smashed through the guardrail. So instead, they turned it into what we have now – endless front to rear chain reaction accidents because there is too much traffic for a one lane ramp onto the Meadowbrook North and a short merging zone. During summer weekends, I see an accident there every Saturday and Sunday. But no one will ever do anything about it, DOT will never admit they are wrong and no state representatives will buck the “safety” kooks and put the road back the way it was. Watch for the speed limit on the Loop to be lowered to 45MPH – that’s their solution for every traffic problem, lower the speed limit and give out more tickets.

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