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State DOT plans to expand rumble strips to center lines in Onondaga County

You’ve probably veered toward the shoulder on a busy, local highway and been shocked back into the driving lane by rumble strips. They’ve worked so well at cutting down on accidents that the state wants to try them on the center line of many roads.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- You’ve probably veered toward the shoulder on a busy, local highway and been shocked back into the driving lane by rumble strips.

They’ve worked so well at cutting down on accidents that the state wants to try them on the center line of many roads.

Seneca and Cortland counties started getting them this year and the plan is to expand further in Onondaga County next year.

The plan is to do about 313 miles in Onondaga County and a road like Route 92 in Manlius is the perfect fit. To be considered for center line rumble strips, the roadway must be two lanes, heavily traveled and have a speed limit of above 45 mph. The State DOT says it’s not costly and it saves lives and reduces accidents.

You may have gotten a taste of it already if you’ve driven on Onondaga Lake Parkway. Last year, the State added the rumble strips; partially to get people’s attention, alerting them to the low bridge, but it also helps prevent head on crashes and side swipe accidents as drivers drift over the yellow line.

Other states have done it for some years now and report a 25 to 50 percent drop in accidents. New York State has seen success with the shoulder strips reducing run off accidents and deadly crashes. The center strips would be similar in style.

"The centerline strips are right on the double yellow line, they're not as deep, the effect isn't as pronounced, but you still get some noise and some vibration,” explained NYS DOT Spokesman Gene Cilento.

Cilento says it’s not too hard to do and doesn’t take that much time. There’s a special machine that’s used to cut the grooves into the pavement. He says while it will help keep people from crossing the centerline, it’s not the only advantage the grooves provide.

"It creates sort of a three dimensional effect with the yellow line above and below the site line,” Cilento said.

Cilento says there’s no downside in terms of snow removal or other road maintenance. The upside is the real reason you’ll start to see more and more of the centerline rumble strips across the state in the next couple of years.

The plan of exactly what roads will get the strips next year is still being finalized, but it’s safe to say they’ll be spread throughout almost all part of Onondaga County.
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