“Promise her anything, but give her Arpege.” Anyone out there remember the 1965 ad for cologne besides me? Well, this is how I’m feeling about the town’s plan for the Route 24 extension in Hampton Bays.
We’ve been promised that the proposed one-block extension will somehow ease the traffic situation for those in the hamlet living south of Montauk Highway, as I do. Approximately 100 people attended a public hearing in July, and 18 of the 20 people who spoke were against it.
Most pointed out that it would make it easier for commuter traffic from outside the town working east of the canal to further clog residential streets south of the highway. Also, most believe adding a traffic light to that already crazy area around Springville, Good Ground and the railroad tracks would only exacerbate the situation.
Then there’s the land swap in order to build the road: 2.9 acres of land at that prime downtown spot would be swapped for 13.28 acres in Hampton Bays. Where in Hampton Bays? Prime downtown? No, a hop, skip and jump from the Southampton border, and landlocked to boot. Other than the surrounding homeowners, how would anyone benefit from this swap? What is the Town Board’s rationale?
One argument is that by doing this swap we would avoid some mega chain store, which no one wants, from coming to the junction of Montauk Highway and Route 24, where the deserted diner is now. But the diner property would merely be moved partly to the east, still leaving it virtually at the same spot and still ripe for development. How would this help us avoid an unwanted business there? No reason I can see.
What people really want is a diner. It is an iconic site. Probably, it’s too late to get a diner, but I wish the town would use more energy pursuing alternatives. Think outside the box.
If the Town Board wants a referendum for a road no one in Hampton Bays seems to want, couldn’t we have a referendum to give tax abatements or some incentive to get a diner at this historic diner location?
Now, that would make a lot of people happy.
One fine body…