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Sep 7, 2018 2:24 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State Department Of Transportation To Reduce Speed Near Water Mill

Sep 11, 2018 12:35 PM

The State Department of Transportation is planning to reduce the speed of a section of Montauk Highway near Water Mill from 45 to 40 mph.

The reduction will specifically impact Montauk Highway between Flying Point Road and Head of Pond Road, the same section of the highway where the Parrish Art Museum and the White Fences Inn is located.

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. on Friday said that the reduction is the result of Eric Brodar, co-owner of the White Fences Inn, writing a letter to Mr. Thiele and the DOT late last year stressing concerns about speeding drivers on that section of the highway.

"Last year from June to the end of August I saw at least six accidents on that road leading into Water Mill," Mr. Brodar said on Tuesday. "I believe it was caused by excessive speeding on the road. It's like a raceway in that area."

Mr. Brodar said that he first tried calling Southampton Town Police in September last year and was upset at the department not being "forthcoming" about the speeding drivers on the road. He then called Mr. Thiele, who told him that he would call the DOT to perform an investigation of the area. The DOT’s investigation of the resident’s concerns consisted of an accident analysis, a speed study, a review of the roadway’s existing geometry and field observations of the area.

“The analysis did not see any pattern of speed-related accidents on that road,” Mr. Thiele said. “It does go from 45 to 30 mph in Water Mill in a pretty short amount of time.”

The speed reduction is the result of the investigation’s speed study, which was conducted on a weekday at two locations between Flying Point Road and Old Mill Road during the off-season to capture, as the DOT described, “free-flowing traffic.” Mr. Brodar said that the study should've been done during the busy summer season for better results.

"The study during the off-season was not right because people on the roads at that time are people who live here and are respectful of the speed limits," Mr. Brodar said. "Most speeders are visitors who think they're entitled to do whatever they want."

Mr. Brodar went on to suggest that the speed limit should've been further reduced to 35 mph considering the section of Montauk Highway going east into Water Mill only contains two lanes and the 40-mph speed limit could still lead to traffic and accidents. He did thank Mr. Thiele for being "very responsive" and for "looking into the problem."

The speed limit in downtown Water Mill will remain at 30 mph, further emphasized by the “Reduced Speed Limit Ahead” signs that the DOT installed on the eastbound and westbound side of the road.

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From bumper to bumper to 40 mph....Great!
By V.Tomanoku (704), southampton on Sep 7, 18 2:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Town trying to move traffic faster, State slowing it down. Gotta take care of the Parrish... Make it 30mph from sunrise to montauk, no passing...
By knitter (1656), Southampton on Sep 7, 18 3:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
With a new infrastructure in place, including more traffic signals, and a brain that regulates not only E/W traffic but permits cross-traffic to flow when possible.

Route 5 near Hartford CT was that way in the 50's and 60's [before I-91], and even with the huge insurance industry commute traffic, everyone kept moving, albeit at a moderate pace.

Been sayin' this here for years . . .

Pretty obvious stuff . . . come on, Shadow Captain!

By PBR (4907), Southampton on Sep 7, 18 4:18 PM
Lower posted speed means higher fines.

It's a money grab guised upon the auspices of safety.
By Mr. Z (11126), North Sea on Sep 7, 18 10:01 PM
So one resident complained and that's all it took?

This really doesn't matter since 92.6% of the time traffic is crawling along about 15 MPH, except when Pumpkin town is open and it's a standstill.
By Arnold Timer (315), Sag Harbor on Sep 7, 18 9:47 PM
3 members liked this comment
Amazing that Fred Thiele would push for a regulatory change based on the input of one or two people, and NOT the thousands of other folks that would be impacted by it. The argument that people are speeding is specious - its too congested to move very fast, and if the traffic is not moving fast enough with a 45 limit what good will reducing it to 40 do? The only time anyone can exceed that speed is late at night, and then it shouldn't matter. Thiele's a Joke.
By Funbeer (257), Southampton on Sep 8, 18 8:12 AM
Posted speed, or the societal conventional speed?
By Mr. Z (11126), North Sea on Sep 7, 18 9:59 PM
I am convinced that the people making decisions are idiots. What difference would a 5mph reduction make in safety? This, along with the idea to add more crosswalks in Bridgehampton, is not helping traffic. Ten's of thousands was spent on an automatic crosswalk in Bridgehampton that people don't use or don't know how to use. Instead of walking to the crosswalk and entering it correctly, people cross the road wherever it is convenient.
By deelove (142), Bridgehampton on Sep 8, 18 8:17 AM
Traffic calming its traffic snarling Let's try and solve the problem like work force housing. The new snow white laundry and the flying point complex both being built without second floor apartments how stupid. The railroad is a joke they haven't figured out the success of the Hampton Jitney. And to boot Southampton Town has a traffic director on the payroll. Its all a joke
By harbor man (41), sag harbor on Sep 8, 18 9:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
I can’t remember the last time I couldn’t walk faster than eastbound morning traffic on that section of highway.
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Sep 9, 18 11:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
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