Residents say road that 17-year-old crashed on has long been dangerous

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EAST ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A community is in mourning after a tragic crash early Saturday morning in East Rochester. It took the life of an Aquinas senior.

News10NBC hears from people in the neighborhood where the crash happened. They say that road has long been dangerous.

Bluff Drive has two bends forming an “S” curve in the road. There are two different speed limits meant to slow down drivers, but neighbors say many simply disobey them.

“Yeah, it doesn’t surprise me. They fly down this road all the time,” said Scott Petti.

One of the trees that once stood near the corner of Bluff Drive, and Garfield Road in East Rochester is now uprooted. Early Saturday morning police say the teen driver crashed into the tree. The impact broke apart his car sending pieces flying into a nearby home.

The Aquinas Institute of Rochester has confirmed the 17-year-old driver’s name is Clark Palen, and he was a Senior. East Rochester Police don’t know how fast Clark was going, but say he was speeding.

Chad Woodworth lives nearby, and says crashes happen all too often.

“There have been multiple crashes where cars have left the road, and fractured one specific telephone pole multiple times. Some of my neighbors have told me that in the period of time they’ve lived there it’s been fractured up to five times, and needed to be replaced,” said Woodworth.

Heading north, Bluff Drive’s speed limit is 30 mph going into the first bend in the road. When you reach the second bend, it drops down to 15 mph, but Woodworth says many simple ignore the signs.

“The issue is that the road itself is very wide and that allows people to feel more comfortable driving. People regularly underestimate their speed, and overestimate their control,” said Woodworth.

Scott Petti owns a business on Bluff Drive. He says speed is a concern to many.

“There’s kids out here. There’s people walking constantly. One year someone swiped about four or five cars on this side of the road because they were going too fast,” said Petti.

Both men would like to see some changes on this road which is owned, and maintained by Monroe County.

“We think that Monroe County Department of Transportation needs to investigate this road, and investigate a redesign, and a big part of our concern is around the width of that road, which again, make people feel more comfortable traveling at greater speeds through our village,” said Woodworth.

Petti added, “I think that they can patrol more. There’s some good areas the cops can sit. Lower speed limits, and just enforce it.”

News10NBC reached out to the Monroe County Department of Transportation for a comment, but it was closed for Election Day. We will follow up, and report on any changes that might be made.