Meeting to Discuss Traffic Calming By Cromer’s

Posted on 21 March 2012

Noyac Road

By Claire Walla

Business owners have protested, residents have called for action and grass-roots organizations have entered the fray.

The small curve of Noyac Road that runs by Cromer’s Market has divided both the community and the Southampton Town board for more than six years, as plans to implement traffic-calming measures have continually been re-shaped and redefined in an attempt to satisfy all needs.

And while not all parties can seem to come up with a viable plan to suit everyone’s desires, those involved can at least agree on one thing: something needs to be done.

This overarching goal is the impetus behind a meeting next Wednesday, March 28, where all parties will get one last chance to come to the same table to be heard.

Hosted jointly by Southampton Town and the Noyac Civic Council, the meeting will bring together town personnel — like Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor — as well as residents and local groups with a vested interest in the reconstruction project.

To prepare for the discussion, Noyac Civic Council President Elena Loreto said she sent a survey to 359 Noyackers in an effort to solicit their thoughts on the matter. The survey included five questions related to the most recent construction plan, which was proposed by Gregor in 2011. In a nutshell, that plan includes installing two concrete medians in Noyac Road, as well as creating a concrete barrier between the road and the parking area in front of Cromer’s Market and the Whalebone gift shop.

The survey questions are as follows:

Do you feel the 2011 plan accomplishes its mission?

Do you feel this plan will change the rural character on Noyac?

Do you feel this plan will adversely affect the businesses in terms of traffic flow, accessibility for patrons and accessibility for delivery trucks?

Do you feel this plan will adversely affect home owners bordering the construction area [in Pine Neck]?

Are you in favor of this plan?

The questions are all yes/no, however Loreto said there is a section at the end of the survey where people were invited to offer any additional comments on the plan. As of last week, she said she had received 44 completed surveys back, though she expects to receive more before the meeting.

“It looks like everyone wants something done, but most people do not think this plan will succeed for various reasons,” Loreto said of the survey results thus far, which will be kept anonymous. “People seem to favor trying something in increments.”

Rather than constructing concrete medians, she said some residents are more in favor of using striping to calm traffic. And, she added, many residents are concerned with the proposed “loading zone” created in the 2011 plan. According to the design, the concrete barrier separating the commercial parking area from Noyac Road would essentially extend over Bay Avenue where it meets up with Elm Street, thereby cutting-off access to Bay Avenue from Noyac Road.

“People are fearful that that might funnel traffic into Pine Neck,” Loreto continued. “They don’t want anything that’s too severe.”

At a town board meeting last month, Alex Gregor pushed the need for more permanent traffic-calming measures, saying concrete barriers are necessary for safety. He noted how dangerous that stretch of Noyac Road is, particularly because cars back out of parking spaces into on-coming traffic, and the union of Bay and Elm streets at that Noyac curve essentially creates 20 potential “conflict points.”

Also voicing some concern with the construction project is the local organization SpokesPeople, which sees this as an opportunity to increase bike safety in the area.

According to group member Mike Bottini, SpokesPeople’s main concern is making sure the construction plan allows for bike lanes on either side of the highway. With the current plan only allowing for 11-foot-wide traffic lanes on either side of the road — in addition to a left-hand turn lane — Bottini said SpokesPeople will push to get at least eight more feet added to the road for bike safety, creating two four-foot bike lanes going in each direction.

Of course, he added, implementing bike lanes at this section of Noyac Road begs the question: What’s it going to connect to?

That’s yet to be determined.

“But, you’ve gotta start somewhere,” he said.

With the town recently having adopted a Complete Streets policy, Bottini said this will be the start of more comprehensive bike and pedestrian accessibility in Southampton Town.

“Hopefully, one day we can make the connection from Cromer’s to Long Beach.”

The Noyac Civic Council meeting about Noyac Road will take place Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Bridgehampton Nutrition Center on the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike.

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3 Responses to “Meeting to Discuss Traffic Calming By Cromer’s”

  1. Ellen Dioguard says:

    That stretch is “dangerous” because of the large amount of traffic from Cromers Market – plain and simple. I’ve lived within a block of this area for over 14 years now (4 of them right on Elm street in full view of the problem area) and until recently NEVER saw the kind of mess it can, at times, be now. Were there accidents? Yes. Was alcohol or other issues often involved? Yes. However, it does appear to have grown into a bigger concern,even those of us who live in the area year round and are driving around slowly and sober. But does it require this kind of “fix” Good Lord NO.
    How about we start with a Stop sign or two? Some other, flat visual traffic “calming” measures? Closing off a road, diverting traffic into Pine Neck, where the streets are so narrow those of us who live there have to hold our breaths as we drive down to our houses, is insane. This current plan puts the access to these businesses in jeopardy, ruins the rural character of Noyac, inconveniences local residents and lowers the value of their property – yes, LOWERS PROPERTY VALUE does everyone realize that? I would suspect even those lovely homes on the water will seem less appealing with this mass/mess of concrete in back of them (Steve Kroft from 60 Minutes are you out there?). Southampton Town Highway Dept. started out a dozen years ago by bulldozing private property without permission to “fix” this issue and while they did attempt to make good on that it seems to me they have not come very far. This problem needs the equivalent of design by a surgical knife not a sledge hammer to make it right.

  2. Warren Kerr says:

    I live on that stretch and still feel the problem is that most people are very poor at operating an automobile. They are poor with their attention span, thought process and skill. Getting a drivers license is a joke in this day and age and there is no follow up education or advanced courses required. We are always trying to fix our problems my making the world more idiot proof instead of fixing the idiots. We will spend vast amounts of money on this little area in an effort to appease the politicians and neighbors. We are trying to solve all our short comings by building traffic circles, dividers and putting up massive quantities of no parking signs. Often these ill-conceived projects make things worse. Until we all start taking our responsibilities behind the wheel more seriously no amount of concrete or painted lines will solve our problems.

  3. mike g says:

    I don’t understand all the fuss. So Bay Ave will be closed-and why will that cause more traffic in Pine Neck-it is a dead end street-and those driving into Pine Neck are Pine Neck residents-shouldn’t they be careful drivng in their own neighborhood?

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