We’re pleased that Southampton Town has finally arranged to take control of Noyac Road. Considering it has maintained it for years, and there appears to be no additional expense attached to it, we think local ownership will be a benefit to the town and the constituents in Noyac and North Sea.
We should recognize part of what has fueled this desire to gain autonomy over the road has been fear. Fear that some government other than our own may one day recognize a need for a second east-west route through the South Fork. And one glance at a map would tell you Noyac Road is the most obvious choice for such a route.
But for residents in the two hamlets that border the road, having a major throughway would destroy what is left of the, well, not-quite-rural charm that remains.
So, unless the town at some future date takes leave of its senses, we should be OK.
Now that we’ve got it, let’s talk about what needs to be done with it. In our own little corner, we are anxious to see the town complete a traffic calming design in front of The Whalebone and Cromers. As we have said in this space many times, an intelligent treatment here could be a benefit both for the store owners and the customers who frequent them, considering the difficulty — and danger — of pulling in an out of the parking spaces there.
But frankly we’d like to see a traffic calming proposal extended beyond this intersection to include the entire business district in Noyac. We’d like to see a plan that makes the entire business district more pedestrian friendly, and a design that would actually work to slow traffic — think islands and bump outs at corners and crosswalks that would allow shoppers to move freely and without fear through the downtown area. It’s honestly not that far to walk from The Whalebone to the deli to Cappelletti’s — it’s just not that comfortable. A narrower road makes a slower road. These are efforts that would benefit the entire hamlet by discouraging speeders and those seeking to use Noyac as a bypass.