Everyone who owns a cellphone has experienced the frustrating and maddening experience of having a call suddenly drop. What is even more annoying is when a call drops in an area where you least expect it. There are several spots just like that in Central New York and people are sick of it!

One prime example of this, before we get to the whole list, is a fire that happened last week at the Ridgewood Market plaza on Oneida Street in South Utica. A fire broke out and the business owners within had a difficult time calling 911 because the service was so horrible. This is a prime area filled with residential homes and VERY close to civilization. There are several Central New York residents who share a similar worry that if an emergency happens, they won't be able to reach proper authorities.

Some residents and business owners were furious over the fire with Senator Schumer and his office responded. Schumer said,

This fire should be a wakeup call for Verizon of the dangers of these dead zones and spur them to quickly complete the urgently-needed new tower now under construction. While I appreciate Verizon heeding calls last year and beginning construction of a new cell tower, we need progress now to get cell service to South Uticans and adjacent New Hartford residents. Nobody should ever be put  in harm’s way because they can’t call 911 because of a cell phone dead zone. This is a fixable problem, and Verizon needs to deliver for the community like they promised they would.

The following roads and route are the WORST when it comes to cell phone service and the roads and routes you would least expect it.

The Worst of the Worst

  • State Route 5 in Kirkland (By the Cliff's Local Market)
  • Genesee Street in the Village of New Hartford (Or Anywhere in the Village)
  • Clinton Street in Whitesboro
  • Anywhere in the Village of New Hartford or Oxford Road
  • Tilden Road in New Hartford by Sitrin
  • Oneida Street in South Utica (As referenced in paragraph above)
  • Middle Settlement Road (By the Stwewart's Shop)
  • Cosby Manor Road or Herkimer Road (Near Utica/Deerfield/Herkimer County lines)
  • Old Floyd Road in Rome
  • State Route 12 (Between Sherill Brook Park and Kellogg Street)
  • Village of Hamilton and Campus of Colgate University
  • Intersection of State Route 31 and 365 (By the Old Joel's Steakhouse location)
  • State Route 5 in Lairdsville
  • Applewood Community in Clinton/New Hartford area

A New Tower is Being Built

There are several more that people on Facebook have complained about. Again, these are not necessarily considered "remote" or "rural" areas. Something needs to be done about it. Not just for the sake of modern conveniences, but for safety sake. If you are having trouble getting cellphone reception in highly populated areas where the risk of emergencies may be higher, how can people rely on 911 service?

While many were complaining about Senator Schumer and his "failed promise" of improved service in the South Utica and New Hartford areas, the Senator's office responded by stating a new cell tower is being constructed in New Hartford that should help considerably.

Mayor of New Hartford Donald Ryan says,

As work on the new Verizon cell tower in the Village of the New Hartford progresses, I would like to extend my most sincere appreciation to Senator Schumer for following through on his promise and delivering this new cell tower for our community. Because of the Senator's tireless efforts, Verizon is scheduled to dig, pave, and wire the tower site in the coming weeks, putting them on pace to complete the tower well ahead of schedule. On behalf of our entire community, I would like to credit the Senator for getting the job done to ensure the good people of New Hartford and Utica are connected.

It is believed this new tower will solve a lot of the dead zone issues plaguing the region. Hopefully the construction will be completed in a timely fashion.

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Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

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We decided to ask ChatGPT to get the most epic, most iconic, and most scenic Spring Road Trip across New York State. Here's what it suggested:

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler