A 60-unit residential housing complex is being considered for development on the main traffic artery on the East End, County Road 39. Why does this not make sense? Because we have a serious traffic problem on this thoroughfare that requires immediate, proactive attention and solutions, and this development is the opposite of a solution — it is a long-lasting additional aggravation to the history of the build-up on this road.
Please, to the Town Board and the community, let’s do our due diligence. Let’s turn to the County Road 39 Corridor Plan (on the town website) and review the issues discussed then (final report January 2015) and recommendations for solutions.
Factor in where we are now, almost seven years out from the Corridor Plan, with:
1. Increased traffic on County Road 39. The high volume of traffic on the road, which we lament year after year, has grown even worse post-pandemic (the topic of the “27 Speaks” July 31 podcast “Feeling Congested Traffic Woes on the East End”).
2. Increased traffic on neighborhood roads in the village and the town. During a Town Board Zoom meeting, we hear the supervisor discuss the problem of residential neighborhoods filling up with traffic, as vehicles attempt to bypass as much of Country Road 39 bumper-to-bumper rush hour(s) volume as possible. This is an increasing traffic problem voiced by village residents and some of their elected politicians.
3. Increased population. The Census Bureau figures, also reported in The Press [“Census Reveals Unprecedented Population Rise And A Diversifying Region,” 27east.com, October 18], note that while Suffolk County’s population grew by 3.1 percent, the population growth was largely on the East End (east of the Shinnecock Canal), with Southampton Village increasing 46.3 percent and East Hampton increasing 40.1 percent since 2010.
Another due diligence idea would be for the town to take a poll of the residents of the recently opened development on the southeast corner of County Road and Tuckahoe Lane to ask how they find access to/from their homes via County Road 39? Are they using alternative routes, traveling through other neighborhoods to find safer access to and from their homes? Do they avoid travel at certain times of the day?
Is this the time to add 60 units (and how many people/vehicles?) to County Road 39, or is this the time to review the recommendations of the County Road 39 Corridor Plan, factoring in the increased volume and related safety issues that are even more challenging, so that decisions made today are working toward improvement needed now and in the future for this vital route?
Finally, let’s have an open Town Board meeting so that the people of this community have the opportunity to have their voices heard in person.
One fine body…