Traffic Dragons - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1821121

Traffic Dragons

It’s all about the traffic. We talk about protecting our environment and promoting our economy, but to do that we must solve Southampton Town’s traffic crisis, on the ground and in the air.

Surface traffic is choking us with noxious emissions and bringing roads to a standstill with the daily “trade parade” and the weekend migrations. We decided long ago not to build more and bigger roads, and that was the right choice, but what do we do now?

It’s a tough question. Meeting a challenge like this isn’t just a matter of shuffling a few signs and stop lights — it requires sophisticated traffic management.

Tom Neely, who’s running for highway superintendent, has 33 years’ experience in the transportation and traffic fields, versus zero for his opponent. If anyone can fix this mess, Tom can.

Workforce housing also eases our road traffic burden by reducing the trade parade. The closer to work people live, the less driving. Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schavoni has worked to make this happen, with two projects in place, several properties in planning, and a change in the accessory apartment law to increase the inventory of affordable units.

In the Town Council race, Tommy John Schiavoni is running for reelection, and attorney Robin Long is running for the first time. Robin’s extensive government experience, including service on the Southampton Town Planning Board, means she’ll be an invaluable help with this challenge. Together, and with Tom Neely’s aid, they will address traffic congestion by every means possible.

Air traffic is less visible but more audible and equally unhealthy. The noise and pollution from the air is a severe environmental and economic threat.

This one demands a regional approach. Right now, there’s much talk about closing East Hampton Airport, but that would surely cause proportionate increases in traffic at Southampton heliport and Westhampton’s Gabreski Airport. As two townships are involved, there must be cooperation to reach a fair balance among the three facilities by limiting types of aircraft and controlling flight operations and routes.

Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, who is also seeking reelection, was once East Hampton Town supervisor and later a Suffolk County legislator. His background is perfectly suited to tackling this matter from a regional perspective. That’s what we need.

The team of Schneiderman, Schiavoni, Long and Neely is the right pick to fight Southampton’s traffic dragons. Election Day is November 2. Please vote.

George Lynch


Mr. Lynch is treasurer of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee — Ed.