No Dumping, of Traffic
The Noyac Road traffic calming editorial that appeared last week in The Express only touches the surface of the failings of the planned improvements. I agree the problem has to be looked at holistically first, the big picture, and then whittled down to what we can afford now. I agree bike lanes and sidewalks are critical. No road improvement should ever be considered without investigating the possibility of their construction. I no longer bike to Sag Harbor or work due to the death trap lurking on Noyac Road and that troubles me. How many people are prevented from exercising and conserving fuel due to this problem? I’m quite certain it’s more than a few!
My other concern with the highway superintendent’s plan 7a, which is not on their website by the way, is that one man, while a fine public servant, has the authority to decide that dumping commercial traffic into a residential neighborhood is an acceptable practice. IT IS NEVER AN ACCEPTABLE PRACTICE! Everyone loves Cromer’s and they have been grandfathered into a situation that allows them to continue their business without requiring an update to their parking needs. The Whalebone, also beloved, does not seem to need more parking, it just has access and egress concerns as does Cromer’s.
So you see, everyone has concerns and interests to protect: The Superintendent, the Businesses, the Bikers, the Pedestrians, and the Residents. So how do we proceed with a solution after so many schemes and so much taxpayer money has been spent on those studies?
1st) We do as little as possible to try and improve the problem immediately. Something that will not cost much but change people’s driving perception and get them to slow down is preferable. North Haven was very successful in calming their traffic problem in front of Village Hall with a median and change of material on the roadway.
2nd) We compile a list of criteria that the stakeholders can live with and the designers can use to address the problems, both short term and long range. And try again!
My dream is that someday there would be a small roadway where small cars go about their travels in a safe and efficient manner while bikeways are separated from traffic and pedestrians. Residences would be shielded from unwanted traffic noise, and residential communities would be recognized as areas worth protecting from traffic. It will probably take longer than I have left on this earth to accomplish this. But so what, very few problems can be solved overnight.
Agreement on a long term plan and working together for its implementation over time, that is how to achieve my dream. I hope others share this dream, and I hope the highway superintendent understands we respect his service to our town, but we request he reconsider the current plan 7a and not dump additional traffic into our neighborhood.
Walter Wilcoxen, Architect
Pine Neck, Noyac
Consider Pine Neck
I am writing this letter in response to your editorial “Get Moving” regarding the apparent stalemate that you describe is taking place over the effort of the highway superintendents plan “to fix an infamous stretch of Noyac Road” .
Your editorial goes on to state. “Though Gregor comes up with a pretty intricate plan to physically separate a lot from the roadway so cars must come and go from a dedicated entrance, it involves opening up Pine Neck to some traffic it doesn’t currently get and residents don’t like that, and given the influx of traffic into a residential neighborhood we can understand why. However, there was so much opposition to this plan residents actually wanted to give back the funding ($450,000) that has already been allocated to do something about this situation.”
DO YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND WHY?
Gregor’s plan would make Bay Avenue a one way street, directing traffic leaving the small shopping center away from Noyac Road and into the heart of the Pine Neck section of the community. Traffic would then go over a short stretch of Noyac Avenue to Elm street which would be designated as one way and would be diverted back to Noyac Road. I believe a large majority of this traffic would go further down Noyac Avenue and go through Pine Neck Avenue to return to Noyac Road, from a vantage point which has better visibility of the traffic moving both ways on Noyac Road.
This plan if adopted is potentially devastating to both the economics of, and the safety of the population, specifically the children living in, or vacationing in Pine Neck. I believe over two-hundred-thousand dollars has been spent over almost a decade on plans, basically traffic engineering efforts to solve this problem.
A demographic study of the Pine Neck community would reveal the sentiments and the anxiety the residents of Pine Neck have in opposing this plan. Pine Neck is a densely populated vacation community, made up of second home owners, senior citizens, and a minimum of year round residents. It is a truly beautiful area, enhanced by Circle Beach at the foot of Pine Neck Road. The population swells by an enormous factor in the summer months with vacationers. Children are at play in the streets, going to circle beach and using the back roads to shop at the Whalebone and Cromers. Diverting traffic through Pine Neck to accomplish the plans of the highway superintendent, or passing a resolution to memorialize this plan, taking it one step at a time are equally unacceptable solutions. I realize the highway superintendent has autonomous power in his position and giving back 450k would be a dramatic step to take; however, I can understand this position if the alternative is to see the area destroyed by diverting traffic, and indiscriminately truck traffic of unlimited size through Pine Neck. I think both the town board and the highway superintendent have become an embarrassment to the community in the positions they have taken on this problem. If they have not addressed the task with a written study on the demographics of Pine Neck — and, I don’t believe they have — they should. Otherwise the current stalemate would not exist.
You conclude your editorial by stating: “ No matter what the plan, there will always be someone who doesn’t like it. And to those folks we’d like to say it’s either time to be part of the solution or part of the problem.”
In conclusion, I would implore you to support a serious demographic study of the Pine Neck community, and the impact this traffic diverting proposal could have on their economy and more importantly on the safety of the children, particularly the little ones that vacation in Pine Neck riding tricycles and bicycles with training wheels through the streets during the summer months. Many think the suggested solution is the problem! A study of this type could lead all of us to a more intelligent and informed solution.
Sag Harbor, Pine Neck resident
We should all be alarmed and dismayed that the House GOP leadership has embraced the harmful cuts to the federal budget known as “sequestration” that will take effect on March 1st unless Congress acts. The impact on our economy would be devastating: according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the sequestration cuts would eliminate at least 750,000 jobs from the economy in 2013 and cut economic growth in half. George Mason University has estimated that 70,000 jobs would be lost in New York State alone. Many in my party and in the GOP have also cited the damaging impact it would have on our national defense.
The local impact would be unacceptable: hundreds of research and construction jobs at Brookhaven National Lab could be jeopardized. Sag Harbor School District could lose Special Education aid, forcing administrators to reduce services or turn to local taxpayers. Cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers could leave important harbors and inlets un-dredged or under-dredged and slow the environmental permitting process.
We should all be working feverishly to avoid sequestration. Instead, the House GOP leadership seems to be more focused on avoiding the blame for the negative effects of a policy they endorsed. We must reduce the deficit, but there is a better way: I support a balanced approach that combines targeted (as opposed to across the board) reductions in expenditures with closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations to prevent some of the most harmful cuts to defense readiness, education, law enforcement and border protection, air safety and many other aspects of the federal government that are vitally important to our nation.
Unfortunately, the House is not in session this week and only four legislative days remain until sequestration is scheduled to take place. I’m ready to work on a solution but time is running short. I urge the GOP leadership to work with the Senate on a balanced approach that solves the deficit problem without crippling our economic recovery and punishing middle-class families.
Oliver Longwell, Communications Director
For Congressman Tim Bishop
To the Editor,
History is replete with fallen empires. We even refer to ourselves as the last superpower on earth. Is that a prediction, or fiction, or a new world order?