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Jun 27, 2018 12:37 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State DOT Shuts Down Southampton Town's Plan To Blink Water Mill Traffic Light During Rush Hour Commute

The NYS DOT shut down the town's plans to blink a traffic light on Montauk Highway in Water Mill, citing safety concerns. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Jul 2, 2018 1:29 PM

The State Department of Transportation has shut down a town initiative to blink the stoplight on Montauk Highway near the Water Mill Shops during busy traffic periods, citing safety concerns.

Tom Neely, the director of public transportation and traffic safety for Southampton Town, said on Tuesday that the state advised the town to stop blinking the lights—an initiative the town tested in an effort to speed up traffic during the morning rush hour.

“We put it on hold for the moment, and we are deciding how to proceed,” Mr. Neely said of the blinking lights.

Stephen Canzoneri, a DOT public information officer, said in a statement that the state had concerns about the safety implications of the blinking light.

“Safety is our top priority,” Mr. Canzoneri said. “Putting the signal in flashing mode during the morning rush hour would remove the pedestrian signal phase, creating potentially unsafe conditions for pedestrians and transit riders at the nearby bus stop. It would also create a substantial burden for motorists exiting the side street.

“We recently adjusted the signal to semi-actuating,” he added, meaning that it will change from green to red for traffic on Montauk Highway when a vehicle on the side street triggers a sensor. He said that “is expected to mitigate traffic congestion at this intersection. We will continue to monitor the road to ensure safe, efficient travel conditions for all users.”

Last month, the town tested blinking the light in an effort to speed up traffic. At the time, a traffic study conducted by the town showed that the blinking light would trim at least eight minutes off commute times in the morning rush hour.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the town is not giving up on its efforts to speed up rush hour traffic.

“It’s too bad because it was actually cutting about 10 minutes off the commute,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “We’re not giving up on that.”

Using blinking lights to improve the flow of vehicles during rush hour has been part of the town’s strategy for months. In fact, blinking traffic lights were an anchor in the town’s traffic plan during the recent U.S. Open golf tournament that brought tens of thousands of visitors to the East End.

During the U.S. Open town officials blinked a handful of lights, including ones in front of the Water Mill Shops on Montauk Highway, near the County Road 39 and Tuckahoe Road intersection in Shinnecock Hills, and near the Montauk Highway and St. Andrews Road intersection in Tuckahoe.

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8 to 10 min's...what a bargain....lol
By 1640sWhaler (72), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Jun 27, 18 4:30 PM
Take out all the lights, speed through. What does neely really do???
By knitter (1604), Southampton on Jun 27, 18 7:03 PM
Right. The state won't let it blink - - they are going to allow them to "take out all the lights." Brilliant idea!
By Robert I Ross (243), Hampton Bays on Jun 27, 18 7:12 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CaptainSig (700), Dutch Harbor on Jun 28, 18 6:14 AM
Somebody finally tries to help with SH horrendous traffic and finds a simple way to help substantially. Then the state steps up and shuts it down? SMH this place is hopeless!
By Say What (13), southampton on Jun 28, 18 5:49 AM
After 15years that's all he/they've come up with? I solve a dozen problems a day at my job. At this point though all I want is a job like Neely's and Jay. Sad we've lowered the standards for government so much that this is considered progress.
By lirider (263), Hampton Bays on Jun 28, 18 5:55 AM
What a joke something actually works and then they put a stop to it this is absolutely insane
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Jun 28, 18 8:45 AM
It’s impossible to get out of any road on the south side of the highway in Watermill in the morning. That blinking light made it worst.
By Fred s (2005), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 9:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
Blinking lights create a hostile environment for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists turning from/onto the highway.
By Aeshtron (285), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 2:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Although the blinking lights is the inexpensive way for CR39, how about building overpasses for vehicles heading North and South and have cloverleafs if necessary with lights similar like they have on the LIE Entrance Ramps to keep traffic flowing onto CR39. It works for pedestrians during US Open! The only issue would be having enough land to build the cloverleafs.
By 7396 (2), East quogue on Jun 28, 18 3:32 PM
Just build more land!
By VOS (1156), WHB on Jun 28, 18 3:44 PM
If you want to live in such a place I suggest Nassau County . The traffic is what the traffic is, if you want to work on the east end and live elsewhere it's the price you pay.
By bigfresh (4055), north sea on Jun 28, 18 4:19 PM
The Great Peconic Causeway is going to solve many of these problems for both the North and South Forks. Helipads are also being planned so that noise will be over water and not residential neighborhoods including pontoon docs for seaplanes.

Just be patient in the meantime. It will be the nicest ride in America.
By V.Tomanoku (685), southampton on Jun 28, 18 4:11 PM
Something as simple as a professional trafffic control officer at the intersection during rush hour will do the trick.
By A Great American (66), East Quogue on Jun 28, 18 10:24 PM
Big Fresh, totally agree. The majority of people complaining are the trade parade and tourists.
If you go to manhattan you leave early and bite the bullet. The traffic is what it is, won't get better. If you are not pleased with it, try going WEST.
Thiele says the train is the answer. Ask him when you see him on the train. Neely doesn't get it. Is this a part time job, what else does he do all week???
By knitter (1604), Southampton on Jul 3, 18 10:23 AM