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Sep 10, 2019 4:06 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Lighted Crosswalks Cause Consternation In Montauk

Town officials say that the lighted crosswalk signs that were installed in Montauk as part of a state-funded program to increase pedestrian safety are too tall and flash for too long or when pedestrians are not in crosswalks.
Sep 13, 2019 3:30 PM

Residents of Montauk and East Hampton Town both said they were unhappy with how new lighted crosswalk signs in the hamlet turned out.

Town officials said they are pressuring the company that installed the signs to troubleshoot technical issues and to lower the signs.

Some residents said they should be scrapped altogether.

“These lights are … totally out of place for Montauk,” said John Keeshan at a Town Board work session on Tuesday. “The simple solution to this problem is not to find a remedy to make them work better — it’s to remove them. They are absolutely unsightly. They do not become Montauk.”

Mr. Keeshan suggested that traffic control officers could better protect the safety of pedestrians at the downtown’s crosswalks. Several residents agreed, but others said the garish look of the signs would be worth it if it paid public safety dividends.

“If those lights save one life, no matter what they do or what has to be fixed, it’s worth it,” said Ken Kejducek.

Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said that the town has been dissatisfied with the way the signs turned out as well. He said they are much taller than they were expected to be, nearly 10 feet high, and that the company has struggled with the sensor technology that is supposed to flash the lights only when a person is in the crosswalk; the flashing continues much longer, and sometimes when there is nobody crossing at all.

“We all object when you drive into Montauk and see that beautiful view across the village — and all you see is blink, blink, blink,” he said. “The reason we chose the overhead signs was because of all the problems East Hampton Village has had with [ground-level crosswalk lighting]. They short out, they have water intrusion problems, the snow plows hit them. But we felt the lights were mounted higher than they should’ve been … and, obviously, they should only be flashing when someone is crossing or preparing to cross.”

Six of the lighted crosswalks were installed in the spring, three in Amagansett and three in Montauk, with a $250,000 grant from the state, and more than $380,000 from the town.

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Safety infrastructure for pedestrians is aesthetically offensive but my ubiqutious giant pick-me-up-truck is beautiful.
By Aeshtron (430), Southampton on Sep 13, 19 3:45 PM
Maybe you were unaware, Aeshtron but pickup trucks are a birthright here! The Montaukets and Shinnecocks have been cruising these beaches and roads with 4x4's since the 1700's ! Our ancestors from North Sea carried on the tradition helping to shape what it is today.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Sep 13, 19 4:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
They need to eliminate parking near those signs. a couple slots either way. I approach and someone is parked by them you cant see a crosser until last second when they emerg from the front or rear of a parked car/truck. Place is to congested.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Sep 15, 19 6:29 AM
Very consternation...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Sep 17, 19 4:22 PM