NEW BERLIN – An infamous section of state Route 8, where sharp curves have earned such colloquial names as “Pancake Knoll” and “Deadman’s Curve,” has grown even more perilous in recent years as traffic in the area has spiked.
Authorities have noticed an increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents and tractor trailer rollovers which have occurred within the 3.4 mile segment of Route 8 outside of the Hamlet South New Berlin and just above its intersection with county Road 32 between the physical addresses of 3200 and 2700. Though the road has always been dangerous, especially to drivers unfamiliar with it, there have been few physical changes made to it and so the increase in accidents can only be attributed the steady increase in traffic. And while some of the traffic increase can be attributed to the growth of the Chobani factory outside of South Edmeston – the destination of a number of the independent haulers who tip their loads on Route 8 – many officials agree that the volume of traffic has increased in general. For instance, of the two major accidents which have occurred on Route 8 this year, the most recent was a large cattle carrier heading through the area which tipped over approximately two months ago.
In the years of 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, six general motor vehicle accidents occurred per year on the 3.4 mile segment of Route 8 in question. In 2011, seven motor vehicle accidents occurred, while in 2012 another nine took place. So far this year? Another pair of accidents. Between 2012 and 2013, the South New Berlin Fire Department responded to more accidents specifically in that area than on average, reported Chenango County Chief Dispatcher A. Jones.