Not in My Air Space
For decades East Hampton airport has been directing its noisy airport operations over other towns, yet nothing has been done to stop them; from last July, 80 percent of air traffic in and out of East Hampton airport has been directed over residents in other communities, not theirs. Worse, this seems federally sanctioned, as the FAA is willing to continue to fund East Hampton’s airport expansion. And grant obligations that accompany FAA handouts will shackle the town to 20 more years of federal control, ensuring the airport remains open to all comers, day and night, 365 days each year.
Faced by growing numbers of angry residents from Southampton and North Fork communities, many East Hampton residents now correctly understand that their peace is threatened; if the airport is not directing the air noise over other communities, it will be directed over theirs, if not this year, then next year.
Predictably, Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) groups are now forming in East Hampton’s various hamlets. No neighborhood wants to be under a flight path, not even pilots, members of the East Hampton Aviation Association (EHAA), want to live under the noise they create. Recently, a group of Northwest residents mailed a letter and petition to fellow Northwest residents in an attempt to garner signatures to prevent any air traffic above their homes. This group of NIMBYS includes aviation supporters and EHAA pilots, Tom Twomey and John Shea who apparently do not care about the well-being of their fellow East Hampton residents any more than they cared about residents in other communities.
The EHAA has been funding an advertising blitz in local papers announcing that the airport is getting smaller and safer; nothing could be farther from the truth, it has been recently designated by the FAA as a Regional airport! Bear in mind that this disingenuous group spent a bundle during the 2011 East Hampton Town Board election, stating that the seasonal control tower was to be ”temporary”, yet the tower is now to be permanent; and the EHAA repeatedly stated in their ads that the tower would help with noise abatement; yet the FAA said — on the very day the tower opened — that it was never intended to help with noise abatement.
Space in a letter to the editor does not permit a complete list of misleading statements made by EHAA and by the favored candidate of special aviation interests, Dominick Stanzione, but the statements are on public record, on video tape in some instances. While the following quote is too long to be considered for the Short Short Story Contest, it does accurately sum up Stanzione’s acts as EH Town Councilman. Supervisor Wilkinson, referring to his negative votes on resolutions brought before East Hampton Town Board by Dominick Stanzione, stated:
“Dominick’s track record, which has included unauthorized letter signings representing the town, pandering to certain interest groups, reneging on organizational and recruitment strategies, personally rerouting incoming and exiting aircraft, misrepresentations in general – has led to an atmosphere of distrust, by me and therefore led to these negative votes.” (East Hampton Star, March 14, 2013.)
Noyac Road : The Simple Solution
Once again it seems we are struggling with the issue of traffic congestion at the Cromer’s shopping plaza. Studies have been done, plans prepared and the community is still unhappy with the proposed solution. As a resident of Northampton Colony I sympathize with my neighbors in Pine Neck who are supposed to accept having three of their quiet streets turned into outlets for the growing numbers of shoppers at the stores fronting Noyac Road. This amounts to taking relatively narrow neighborhood streets, often filled with children, bikers, dogs etc and using them as a safety valve for a busier roadway.
Given community opposition to this plan the rumble strips, lights and curbing, mentioned in last weeks Express, may be a step towards ameliorating the situation. However, this remains a serious safety issue given the volume of speeding cars traveling in both directions on Noyac Road.
Which leads me to a larger issue, that of the traffic problem on Noyac Road, especially in the North Sea to Noyac corridor. We must accept the increased usage of this winding tree lined road as a consequence of the ongoing residential development this area has experienced in recent years. In addition hundreds, perhaps thousands of cars use this two lane country road as a short cut to and from Sag Harbor and East Hampton, bypassing sections of Route 27. Noyac Road was never designed to handle the volume of traffic our communities must contend with on weekends and throughout the summer season. Adding to this problem must be the acknowledgement that no one observes the speed limits posted along the length of Noyac Road.
There is a simple way to address these problems. One that costs far less than the half-million-dollar figure that has been mentioned. This approach would lessen both the concerns about speeding cars and help make the use of the Cromer’s plaza area safer.
I propose that the town install 10 -15 seasonal stop signs along Noyac Road from its Western end to the traffic circle at the approach to Long Beach. I propose seasonal signs in that they may not be needed during our off-season when traffic flow is naturally reduced. The siting of these signs can be accomplished by appropriate town officials. One or two certainly should be placed by the Cromer’s plaza. This will serve as a cost effective response to the need for “Traffic Calming” along the entire stretch of Noyac Road and enable drivers leaving the road front stores to contend with a reduced volume of traffic traveling at slower speeds. The reduced volume may be accomplished as drivers realize that the multiple stop signs will increase their travel time and make Noyac Road a less attractive choice. They may be more inclined to stay on Route 27 which, though crowded, is better suited for high volume traffic than a hilly two lane road that runs through residential areas.
I realize this plan will have both positive and negative impacts on those of us living along Noyac Road We may have to hear the noise of brakes and accelerating cars at stop signs. Sure it will be an irritant to have it take longer to get to Sag Harbor during the summer. Yet reducing the volume of cars and their speed along this country road can only enhance the beauty and safety of our little corner of the Hamptons
Many thanks to the Noyac Civic Council members who tirelessly picked up trash along Noyac Rd. and Payne’s Creek for the Great East End Clean Up on Saturday, April 20. John Arendt, Lori Blakeney, Elfie Winkle, Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, John Kirrane, Judy Latanzio, Brad Tracy, Julie Totero, Chuck Neuman and I spent several hours beautifying our hamlet. Among the “treasurers” we found were TV sets, a toilet bowl, fluorescent lights, a bar-b-que, a marine radio antenna, hubcaps, and old political campaign signs. As we picked up the trash along Noyac Road, we all noticed that the speed of the vehicles that travel on this main thoroughfare is much too fast. It looks like we have to make this point with our officials at Town Hall—another project for the NCC to tackle.
Elena Loreto, President
Noyac Civic Council