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May 22, 2018 2:12 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Looks To Blinking Traffic Light To Improve Traffic Flow

May 23, 2018 11:34 AM

Southampton Town officials are trying to attack the region’s chronic traffic problem—one blinking light at a time.

Tom Neely, the town’s director of transportation and traffic safety, said he has been working with state officials to switch the traffic light in front of the Water Mill Shops, near the hamlet's post office, into a blinking yellow light, in an effort to move traffic along.

Mr. Neely noted that he has been in touch with officials from the State Department of Transportation for approximately a month and hopes to have approvals to test the strategy soon.

Changes to traffic lights on state roads always need state approval, Mr. Neely noted. He is requesting that the town have the authority to blink the lights on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., when necessary, to help move traffic along.

According to traffic studies, Mr. Neely said he expects the blinking light to trim eight minutes off commute times in the morning and afternoon rush hour for motorists.

A DOT spokesperson did not immediately provide a comment.

The Southampton Town Board appears hopeful that the blinking lights will be approved and that the move could help the arduous traffic heading in and out of the intersection during rush hour.

During a recent work session, Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said police have tested the blinking light during rush hour—which showed a marked improvement. “It’s made a tremendous difference,” he said. “… It used to be like a parking lot. But now it’s flowing.”

Councilwoman Julie Lofstad and Councilman John Bouvier, who both live west of the Shinnecock Canal, also noted at the May 10 work session that the effects on traffic have been substantial.

Mr. Schneiderman added that he may look into other ways to speed up traffic with blinking lights at other intersections—likely starting with the traffic light on Montauk Highway near Stony Brook Southampton campus. The light will be put on blink during the U.S. Open next month; data will be collected that week to review its effectiveness with speeding up traffic.

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A blinking yellow light at the intersection of the Highway, Hampton Road and Flying Point Road would be terribly dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. Automobile exhaust smells bad!
By Aeshtron (413), Southampton on May 22, 18 3:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Better Idea: Build a bridge over the Shinnecock Inlet. Make Dune Rd. a third option for traffic into the East End. You could even make it one way in the mornings and change direction in the afternoons. The road is already there and not one traffic light. I'm sure no one would object.
By Mouthampton (437), Southampton on May 22, 18 3:25 PM
Mouth, a tunnel Would work better. Draw bridge would slow traffic.
Blinking light? How do you get through hampton rd, flying pt rd? A cop would have to be there.Try a CIRCLE. Neely???
By knitter (1906), Southampton on May 22, 18 3:43 PM
I was thinking something nice and big to avoid a drawbridge - like an attraction! The Bloomberg Beach Bypass!
By Mouthampton (437), Southampton on May 22, 18 4:08 PM
Definitely a circle
By Win sky (57), Southampton on May 22, 18 4:51 PM
Seems as if the local residents will be inconvenienced and forced into dangerous turns across traffic in order to cater to folks from up the Island. A roundabout is a good idea!
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on May 22, 18 5:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
I like a toll at the canal...
By Draggerman (942), Southampton on May 22, 18 6:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Better a Troll at the canal... a Big one!
By Just sitting on the taffrail (40), Southampton on May 22, 18 9:09 PM
Toll booth would be perfect! All year round residents get a free pass. Everyone else pays!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on May 23, 18 7:07 AM
2 members liked this comment
those with Southampton or Easthampton beach stickers would be free
By hamptonsnrcit (47), sag harbor on May 26, 18 1:23 PM
There were at least TWO accidents today alone - May 22nd - one in the morning that slowed eastbound traffic and one in the afternoon that diverted all westbound traffic to Flanders Road.
By watermill_mike (35), Sag Harbor on May 22, 18 7:12 PM
Here we go again, with suggestions about how to improve CR39 etc. traffic flow.

Bandaids . . . Bandaids . . . Bandaids . . .

For naught!

Google "27east Shirley to Boston Causeway" and check out a dozen or so comments here through the years. Same for "Peconic Bay Rural Transit Authority."

Other than seriously activating the East End Shuttle on the LIRR, the only way to improve traffic flow will be to install many more traffic lights, all centrally controlled to ...more
By PBR (4952), Southampton on May 23, 18 4:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
A shuttle sounds like a good idea... until you sit on the side of 39 and see the amount of service trucks in the “Trade Parade”. Most of the traffic is tradesmen that need their trucks at multiple houses throughout the day. And, even if the tradesman had a place to park his truck on the east end at night, they would then need to get from a train station to their truck. And still start the day at 7.

Not realistic.
By Draggerman (942), Southampton on May 23, 18 6:40 AM
Exactly! A roundabout , traffic lights and Toll booth......all slow down the traffic. But only one of those helps generate revenue to repair the roads that are flooded with a large amount of traffic year round.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on May 23, 18 7:16 AM
2 members liked this comment
County Rd 39 is a perpetual reminder of the rank amateur leadership in this area and the ignorant aggression of new Yorkers
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on May 23, 18 5:56 AM
agree with the first part - Long Island is part of New York the last time I looked so you are referring to everyone, right? Not just the NYC folks
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on May 23, 18 6:44 AM
2 members liked this comment
Do we want our towns designed for cars and parking, or do we want them designed for people and personal mobility?
In Europe, bicycles are now defined by urban planners as “faster-moving pedestrians”;
In USA, bicycles have been defined by urban planners as “slower-moving cars”
(We reap what we sow)
I’m optimistic for our future.
SOUTH FORK ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION (google it)
An innovative plan for improving the local bicycling infrastructure and ...more
By Non-Political (124), Hampton Bays on May 23, 18 7:45 AM
2 members liked this comment
This is a great idea...except...as you mention - the "Trade Parade" It is named that for a reason. Those guys can't bike to work. They need their trucks, vans and trailers to get to the jobs. I look out my office window which faces montauk highway and watch stopped or slow moving traffic all day - in the morning they are going east in the afternoon west- and I would say...at least 80% are trucks, vans and trailers. A solution to the problem would yes - having safer bike paths for daily commutes, ...more
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on May 23, 18 8:14 AM
Small, electric powered bicycle and passenger ferries can take advantage of our waterways. Ferrying bikes across the Shinnecock Inlet would create a perfect East West commuter and recreational route from Westhampton to Water Mill. Who wouldn’t want to do that? (NOT for lawn mowers, tractor trailers, cement trucks, bulldozers, landscape trailers, buses, moving vans)
By Non-Political (124), Hampton Bays on May 23, 18 8:18 AM
Okay - a Ferry service - how much is that going to cost commuters? The shelter island ferry is 33 (for both ferries) just car/driver. Add that up for a week of commuting? That is 160ish dollars?! Not everyone can afford something like that. So okay - you travel to a ferry station and park - walk on is 20 (both ferries round trip) a week. Which is more reasonable, but not everyone will do it. AND if everyone did the ferry service would have to charge more in order to operate.

Also - not ...more
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on May 23, 18 9:01 AM
A blinking light at Flying 'Farrell' Point intersection would be a nightmare for locals. Trying to turn left from Hampton Road onto 39W is a death trap.
Cops should be utilized as a flashing yellow light at that intersection, as well as at Narrow Lane & Hampton Road, and Hampton Road & David White's particularly between 7am - 7:30am, and 2:00-3:00PM for the school traffic. When school's out, a yellow light might be ok. The circle could also work.
By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on May 23, 18 9:03 AM
Going back to manhattan on sunday night they don't complain. Don't like the traffic, don't come. End of discussion, thank you...
By knitter (1906), Southampton on May 23, 18 11:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
I like a circle. As long as its engineered for larger trucks that need to use the route
By J. Frankenbach (15), Southampton on May 23, 18 3:20 PM
tom neely has one of the biggest rackets in the history of this towns payroll. His ideas are so ancient that by the time they get from his head to the paper they are 20yrs too late. As far as LIRR, most of their management thinks steam locomotives are used east of babylon so forget about a solution from them. Suffolk county has way too many social experiments going on to worry about traffic on the east end.

Get up at 400am like everyone that has to commute to the city and you wont ...more
By politcal pawn (120), Flanders on May 23, 18 8:54 PM
Traffic circle is also needed at David Whites Ln/Flying Point Rd/Seven Ponds Rd intersection. I risk my life daily trying to bear left onto David Whites to head north to Edge of Woods. Circles are the way to go if they are done correctly and that's a perfect spot for one!
By pvalk6 (32), Southampton on May 23, 18 9:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
YES!!!! Or at least one of those mirrors so you can see if it's clear.
By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on May 24, 18 8:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
Build the toll booth, use the money to repair the roads and to erect a digital sign that displays how many accidents an fatalities have happened on County rd 39.
Improve the flow of traffic but MORE IMPORTANTLY SAVE LIVES by slowing ppl the hell down. Nothing but idiots doing well over 60mph on that road all the time.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on May 24, 18 7:29 AM
Are you people serious about a toll booth? It's the dumbest idea maybe of all time. Since when is a toll booth going to stop people that pay $300,000 to rent a home for 2 months?
By even flow (994), East Hampton on May 24, 18 9:04 AM
We should lower the speed limit on montauk hwy and CR 39 to 25 mph and strictly enforce it.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (741), southampton on May 24, 18 10:32 AM
That'd certainly do wonders for safety, but the concern being addressed in this article is traffic flow.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8057), HAMPTON BAYS on May 24, 18 10:44 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (741), southampton on May 24, 18 11:26 AM
A blinking light in lieu of a true STOP LIGHT is a ludicrous idea. I't and outright dangerous area to begin with. With the intersecting streets and access to the Post Office parking lot driveway, it's almost impossible during normal traffic periods, let alone high volume times, to enter onto 27. Be warned that the town will be opening it's self up to a plethora of law suites for wrongful deaths. Get real, higher personnel who are truly qualified to make traffic flow recommendations.
By jediscuba (71), Suthampton on May 24, 18 12:02 PM
Traffic circles, they work great on 58 in Riverhead. Should do the trick in HB by the Shell station on the east end of the hamlet.
By yogi1 (14), on May 24, 18 6:57 PM
Neely, have them take your train and have a shuttle bus meet them and drop them at their estates... Tom take the train, once... What time do you get to work at town hall???
By knitter (1906), Southampton on May 25, 18 12:00 AM
You people have all heard that saying about doing the same thing over and over again while hoping for a different outcome and how that is considered the definition of insanity?

Good to see Tom Neely trying to solve the traffic problems, 25 years later....
By even flow (994), East Hampton on May 25, 18 6:23 AM
The traffic will be what the traffic will be, virtually unbridled development followed by those homes being renovated now has led to an incredible trade parade , that's the crux of the problem.
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on May 25, 18 5:59 PM
BF, is what it is. Deal with it ///
By knitter (1906), Southampton on May 25, 18 6:35 PM
How do traffic circles help the situation?
By Infoseeker (279), Hampton Bays on May 26, 18 8:52 AM
Extend Sunrise to Amagansett like it should have been fifty years ago. Elevated highway for the views, underground to avoid bad weather or ground level for easy access - just do it! Then in another fifty years extend it all the way to Montauk - right to the high-speed ferry to Newport.
May 26, 18 1:41 PM appended by VOS
Perhaps the bicycle solution can be made workable - even for work crews that need larger vehicles - here's a short clip that shows how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ72pL5E2sA
By VOS (1230), WHB on May 26, 18 1:41 PM
Remember when they proposed putting shops there? And everyone in Water Mill said first, we don’t want them & won’t shop there and second, it will tie up traffic. Oh no no, said developers and an “environmental study” and a “traffic study” was done and golly gee, they said, there won’t be any problem! You silly people, they said, of course there won’t be a need for a traffic light, therefore traffic will not be affected. So they built it, put in a traffic ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on May 26, 18 11:05 PM
Extend the LIE and create a bypass around SH to EH.
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on May 28, 18 8:06 AM
If one wants to work on the east end and live elsewhere then you must deal with traffic, if the traffic too much to deal with, work elsewhere.
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on May 28, 18 8:13 AM
The traffic will never get better. Only worse.

There are no good leaders with vision and backbone here.
By even flow (994), East Hampton on May 28, 18 8:16 AM
One lane alongside LIRR, going east in a.m and west in p.m. Eminent domain.
By Mets fan (1493), Southampton on May 28, 18 8:52 AM
Met, most could not figure that out...
By knitter (1906), Southampton on May 29, 18 3:07 PM
How would you deal with the RR overpasses Mets fan? What about the areas where the tracks cross wetlands?
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on May 30, 18 5:45 AM
If you keep the Southampton Trustees in place, we will eventually lose access to the beaches, which will provide significant relief from the traffic.
By even flow (994), East Hampton on May 30, 18 7:38 AM
Off-road Bike Paths that utilize the utility corridors of LIPA power lines and LIRR service right of ways is an alternative option that is in its preliminary planning stages with a recent NY State proposal and support. Bicycling is ideal with proper and safe infrastructure for trips under 10-15 miles and up. It’s also healthy and enjoyable w/o creating air and noise pollution.

-Federal funds pay for the bulk of this project that will create construction jobs for county residents
-Suffolk ...more
By Non-Political (124), Hampton Bays on Jun 1, 18 8:56 PM
Commuting by bicycle in fine weather may be a viable option for those working in an office or retail establishment but the vast majority of traffic is the trade parade from UTI. It's just not practical to tow a landscape trailer with 3 mowers , weed whackers , blowers and gas cans with a bike.
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Jun 2, 18 6:45 AM
The majority of cars clogging the roads are not carrying lawnmowers and gas cans. Tourists and people on vacation during the season would gladly ride bikes and modern ebikes locally instead of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. We need off-road bike paths and they are coming along the LIPA power lines and LIRR corridors right of ways, plus ebike shares and other solutions that are a healthy and green choice.
“In Europe, urban planners consider bicyclists as fast-moving pedestrians, ...more
By Non-Political (124), Hampton Bays on Jun 2, 18 7:37 AM