Police Barricade at Somerset Avenue and South Magee Is Removed for Southampton Village Traffic Study - 27 East

Police Barricade at Somerset Avenue and South Magee Is Removed for Southampton Village Traffic Study

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The police barricade on Somerset Avenue will be removed at 8 p.m. on Friday night, January 20, so the village can conduct a traffic study in the area. CAILIN RILEY

The police barricade on Somerset Avenue will be removed at 8 p.m. on Friday night, January 20, so the village can conduct a traffic study in the area. CAILIN RILEY

The police barricade on Somerset Avenue.

The police barricade on Somerset Avenue.

authorCailin Riley on Jan 20, 2023

The metal police barricades at the intersection of Somerset Avenue and North Magee Street in Southampton Village, which have created a controversial road closure at that juncture for the past few weeks, were removed on Friday evening, January 20, to allow for a traffic study that village officials hope will lead to a permanent resolution for the traffic issues that have plagued the street and surrounding neighborhoods.

Southampton Village Police put up the barricade in late November, effectively closing the residential street to through traffic. Before the closure, many motorists, particularly during busy rush hour times, had used the street as a cut-through between Montauk Highway and County Road 39, much to the chagrin of residents on the street.

Those residents pleaded with village officials to close the street to through traffic, saying the presence of two 90-degree blind curves on the street — and another 90-degree curve on Pleasant Avenue, which connects to Somerset on both ends — created a uniquely dangerous situation. They also pointed out that when the neighborhood was originally developed, it was never intended to be a through street and act as a conduit between those two main arteries.

In recent Southampton Village Board meetings, residents who live on nearby streets like Bishops Lane and Bishops Court have expressed their frustration that the barricade has been in place for so long, saying it has had the effect of pushing extra traffic onto their streets, and saying that putting the barricade in place amounts to special treatment for one group of village residents.

Engineering firm Nelson Pope Voorhis will conduct a two-week traffic study, Village Trustee Bill Manger said on Friday afternoon. “We’ve always said we had to do a formal traffic study, and we were talking about it last year,” he said. “But with the holidays, we said, ‘Let’s delay until the new year.’ Now seemed like a good time.”

He said NPV would put up some monitoring devices to try to get a sense for what a baseline flow of traffic through the area is like. He added that Village Police will be diligent about enforcing speed limits and monitoring the area to address the safety concerns that residents had expressed.

Once the study is complete, NPV will issue recommendations and the village will try to move forward with a plan that will satisfy residents in the area.

“We want to figure out the best way to try and mitigate the traffic and have it equitably distributed,” Manger said.

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