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West Harrison Woman Thanks Board for New Stop Sign

HARRISON, N.Y. – West Harrison resident Patricia Rome, whose son was hit by a car in 1987, thanked the Harrison Town Board at its May 17 meeting for putting a stop sign at the location of the accident.

When Police Chief Anthony Marraccini suggested a stop sign be placed at the intersection of Underhill Avenue and Main Street, many residents complained that it would cause congestion and delays on the road. When Rome found out about the complaints, she decided to show up to personally address the board herself.

Rome, who grew up in West Harrison, said that her son was hit by a car on Sept. 11, 1987 at that intersection and that the incident changed his life forever. The family spent the next seven years visiting doctors and paying for such items as a wheelchair and canes.

"I hope that our private story will convince others that that stop sign should be kept at that intersection," Rome said. "I've always known that we needed one there. The proof you need is the life of my son."

Rome said that the main reason she spoke was to provide a real life example to people who oppose a stop sign at that intersection.

"Safety outweighs convenience," Rome said. "Imagine how my husband felt when he came home and saw a kid lying face down in the road only to see that it was his son. I now feel like I have some piece of mind and hope that another family doesn't have to deal with a similar tragedy to ours."

Several residents asked that the town install a blinking yellow light at the intersection of Underhill Avenue and Main Street, but Marraccini said that it would cost up to $40,000. However, Rome requested that the town install a red light at the intersection.

"I believe a stop sign is a good start, but I'm hoping for a traffic light if the town's budget allows it," Rome said.

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