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Consider Traffic Calming in Noyac

Posted on 16 April 2008

Noyac residents have been complaining about the increase of traffic through their hamlet for years — and rightfully so. The growth in use of Noyac Road as a bypass has been startling, with members of the trade parade passing through early in the morning, then heading back west in the early evening. Often rushing in both directions.

While many of the discussions use the bend at Trout Pond as a jumping off point, the most recent discussion has focused on the sometimes chaotic approach to the Whalebone/Cromers parking lot. We believe there needs to be some improvement in the design at this lot —  in particular enabling cars to pull out into traffic head first instead of backing into oncoming cars and trucks —  we agree that the biggest problem facing this location — and everywhere through the commercial area — is the speed and volume of traffic.

At Tuesday night’s Noyac Civic Council meeting it appeared most were in agreement that traffic needs to be slowed. As we drove home from that meeting, we noticed that the business district can be pretty easily defined, and we believe a goal for Southampton Town as it looks to incorporate traffic calming measures in Noyac is to help define the downtown area better, and make it more pedestrian friendly. We’ve noted in the past that center medians and islands help serve to slow traffic down (they’ve worked well in Sag Harbor and North Haven villages) and we believe they could be used to great effect along Noyac Road, beginning at the west at Trout Pond, and continuing eastward to the Waterside. The addition of well-placed crosswalks connecting one side of the street with the island would make it easier for pedestrians to get around, and would also force vehicles to slow down.

The idea would be to encourage foot traffic and get vehicular traffic to slow down as it approaches the stores and restaurants — traffic calming people would refer to it as having the vehicles “walk” through the hamlet.

We’re not crazy about the idea of traffic lights or stop signs because they would only serve to back up traffic and create pollution with exhaust. But we think with the use of medians and neck-downs to narrow the road, and even the use of rumble strips and speed monitors to further slow traffic, we can discourage speeders, and maybe even discourage the heavy use of Noyac Road as a bypass.

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