Neighbors: Yonkers' Warburton Ave. Dangerous Speed Zone

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Neighbors are calling for signs or lights to be installed near this hill on Warburton Avebue, near the Yonkers/Hastings-on-Hudson border to warn drivers to slow down.
Neighbors are calling for signs or lights to be installed near this hill on Warburton Avebue, near the Yonkers/Hastings-on-Hudson border to warn drivers to slow down. Photo Credit: Matt Bultman

YONKERS, N.Y. – A section of Warburton Avenue that has claimed two lives the past month has long been a treacherous, high-speed zone, neighbors say.

Cars and buses often will whip through the area along the Yonkers/Hastings-on-Hudson border, traveling two times the posted 30 mph speed limit, William Martinez said.

“Sometimes you can’t even tell what kind of car it is because it goes by so fast,” said Martinez, superintendent of the Riverwatch building at 1020 Warburton Ave. “You can see the color but that’s it.”

The hilly, winding road overlooking the Hudson River is a scenic drive, but neighbors say it is becoming increasingly dangerous.

“People get on this road and they go bonkers,” Theresa Hennelly said.

On Tuesday, Carter Smith, a 21-year-old Hastings-on-Hudson man, was killed when he lost control of his silver Toyota and slammed into a row of cars parked in front of Riverwatch. Less than a mile away, 39-year-old Mario Moreno, from the Bronx, was killed Nov. 30 when a car lost control and struck him as he was blowing leaves in front of RiverView catering.

Yonkers police said Wednesday both accidents still are being investigated and it is not known if speed played a role in either.

However, Javier Martinez, concierge at Riverwatch, said the condominium complex’s outdoor security cameras caught Tuesday’s accident on tape. He said it appears Smith was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his car around 2:14 a.m.

Martinez said he has seen it plenty of times before, with cars traveling north, from Yonkers to Hastings, and picking up speed as they head downhill.  Many don’t realize the turn is so tight, he said, and by the time they do, it’s too late.

“You can’t take that corner at 50 or 60 miles per hour like people are doing,” he said.  “If you do, you come around the turn and you’re confronted by these parked cars and it’s too late to do anything.”

Yonkers police have had complaints in the past of drivers speeding through the area and have taken speed enforcement measures, said police spokesman Det. Lt. Patrick McCormack. Residents say that is not enough.

“Once they leave, people go back to their old ways,” William Martinez said. “We need something more permanent.”

He suggested yellow caution signs or flashing lights be added to warn drivers to slow down as they approach the curve. 

“Whatever it is, something needs to be done before we have another grave situation,” he said.

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