Newly installed cell phone towers that will eliminate a well-known dead zone on the Palisades Parkway have finally been completed, a welcome relief to drivers who drive through the Bear Mountain area.
State Senator James Skoufis broke the good news this afternoon on social media, publicly thanking Verizon “for doing the right thing” and expediting the project.
“Thousands of New Yorkers drive through this area and these improvements will help keep residents and visitors safe, as well as make EMS services more accessible around Bear Mtn.,” tweeted Skoufis.
Skoufis and then-State Senator David Carlucci had taken Verizon to task for the dead zone last February, with Carlucci accusing the carrier of dragging its feet on the project since plans for the tower had been approved well over a year earlier. CBS News (https://bit.ly/3tsLcx1) reported at that time that Skoufis had recently found himself stranded on the northern end of the Parkway after his car broke down, and with no cell service, he found himself resorting to hitching a ride for the first time in his life.
“That is, I think, emblematic, of just how important this real basic issue is to thousands of people who live in our area,” said Skoufis.
Several people who responded to Skoufis’s Facebook post announcing the towers’ completion shared their personal horror stories experienced in the area.
“Got stuck in a ditch a while back and had to put my faith in a random person to call the cops for me when they got service,” wrote John Jusino.
“This is great news,” wrote Matt Stevens. “I got rear ended at the circle a few years ago and the person that hit me drove to the police with me, but they refused to take any type of report because we left the scene since there was no service.”
Verizon began construction on the towers last July, and service is currently active for Verizon customers only. Skoufis expects other carriers to lease space and put up their own antennae on the tower, providing service to their clientele as well.