The Suffolk County Public Works Department is proposing a $9.6 million sidewalk plan for the north and south sides of County Road 39 in Southampton [“Sidewalk Construction Will Mean Regular Lane Closures for Two Years on County Road 39,” 27east.com, March 8]. Suffolk County has already requested bids for the two-year-long construction project.
The Public Works Department claims there is a need for pedestrian safety. At the March 6 public information online meeting, local residents questioned the need for the sidewalks, as there is very little pedestrian traffic in the area.
The Suffolk County Legislature proposal states that the construction will include curbs, concrete retaining walls and chain-link fencing where necessary. This unprecedented two-year project through our main Hamptons thoroughfare will include lane closures on both the north and south sides of County Road 39, with adjustments for the highest traffic hours. (As most of us know, there are no longer traffic-free times in the Hamptons.)
During construction hours, the residential side roads will experience dangerous traffic conditions, pollution and noise disruption, in addition to business disruption in the immediate area and for any business beyond.
At the March 13 North Sea Community Advisory Committee meeting, the large majority of members shared the following concerns:
The insignificant pedestrian traffic does not warrant the tremendous cost and disruption to the quality of life for commuters and residents of Southampton.
The Southampton Town Board, Southampton Police Department, Southampton Highway Department and traffic engineer were not consulted, according to a local official.
Businesses all along County Road 39 will be severely impacted, losing revenue due to lane closures.
After the sidewalks are installed, the new sidewalks would now be the responsibility of the Town of Southampton for both liability and maintenance.
This proposal affects all workers, commuters and residents who travel throughout the Hamptons. Hospital, school, construction and other employees currently spend far too long in their daily commute. There could be an exodus of essential workers who will find jobs elsewhere if the project is approved.
For the very few individuals who would use the proposed sidewalks, the cost in dollars and, most importantly, the disruption of life for commuters and residents during the two-year process is not warranted.
For information regarding the proposal, please refer to the Suffolk County Legislature Proposal at the website scnylegislature.us/DocumentCenter.
Please forward comments to email@example.com and Bridget Fleming at Bridget.Fleming@suffolkcountyny.gov.
There also is a Suffolk County proposal for road changes on North Sea Road (County Road 38), with a Zoom meeting scheduled for March 28 at 7 p.m. For information on that meeting, contact Bridget Fleming at 631-852-8400.
Comparetto is a member of the North Sea Citizens Advisory Committee — Ed.
One fine body…