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Jul 7, 2015 11:01 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

County Road 39 Traffic Changes Will Not Be Implemented In Southampton This Summer

Jul 8, 2015 9:48 AM

A pilot program to reduce morning rush hour traffic on County Road 39 in Southampton has been tabled, most likely until next spring, despite lingering issues for eastbound commuters this summer.

The plan was first pitched by Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman this spring because morning traffic backups on both east-west routes, County Road 39 and Montauk Highway, have added 45 minutes to an hour to a typical commuter’s travel time. The pilot program would switch a pair of traffic lights on County Road 39 to yellow flashing lights in the morning to prevent stop-and-go traffic, and limit turns onto the road from two key intersections.

That idea was put off until July while town officials sought county approval for the program, and also to avoid having to reroute school buses serving the Tuckahoe and Southampton school districts.

But this week both Ms. Throne-Holst and Mr. Schneiderman confirmed that the program has been shelved again, most likely until next spring. According to Mr. Schneiderman, the town did attempt to implement the plan last month, but it was too difficult to get a Department of Public Works crew to provide traffic cones and otherwise supervise the program along with Southampton Town Police.

Now, officials are hoping to run the program in the spring in the lead-up to Memorial Day, when traffic is historically at its worst.

“It is not going to happen this year,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I made one last-ditch effort to make this happen, just to get some data, and I wasn’t able to make it happen. It was too complicated. But it is certainly something that I absolutely want to try, because we will have the same problem next year—maybe even worse.”

If the pilot program is approved by Southampton Town officials, Town Police would switch the county-operated traffic lights on County Road 39 at Tuckahoe Lane, near the Stony Brook Southampton campus and the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, and farther east at Magee Street, to yellow flashing lights in the morning. Police officers stationed at the two intersections would be able to manually stop highway traffic to occasionally allow drivers on the side streets to make right turns onto County Road 39. Left turns would be eliminated at those intersections during rush hour. The pilot program likely would last about a week to determine its impact.

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what a stupid idea-it will never happen
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Jul 7, 15 1:09 PM
Yay. Why try something to see if it works (which it won't) prior to the problem time of year?? Hooray for a 2016 Spring debacle.
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Jul 7, 15 1:33 PM
The only thing that's going to help is a reduction in car volume coming over the canal in the morning. This means 1) encouraging carpooling - most of these cars have one passenger - possibly by creating a flex HOV lane for commute hours. 2) Passing legislation to encourage and actively participating in the development of affordable housing for the working class. The fact that this issue has been tabled by ATH and JS is evidence of where their interests lie: in the pockets of the wealthy constituents, ...more
By det7408 (7), Bridgehampton on Jul 8, 15 7:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
I like the HOV lane idea.
By bird (829), Southampton on Jul 8, 15 2:53 PM
I like an HOV lane suspended 10' above CR39... i.e. never gonna happened...
By No of Hwy (9), Southampton on Jul 9, 15 10:35 PM
We need a four lane highway from Southampton too Montauk. Anything else is a waste of time, and energy.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 8, 15 7:48 AM
Not going to happen. Have to knock downs dozens of Farrell houses to clear the way.
By Crabby (63), Southampton on Jul 8, 15 9:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
Lets route it though Peconic Bay, it's feaseable, just like the Florida Keys Bridges.
By No of Hwy (9), Southampton on Jul 9, 15 10:38 PM
This is a good idea and it should be done. What's not a good idea, and should not be done, is putting a 50,000 square-foot SUPERMARKET on CR 39.

If the Tuckahoe Center shopping mall proposal, with its supermarket and other stores, is approved, it will most likely be the death of this already-choked thoroughfare. The project goes against all sane planning, existing zoning laws, and plain common sense. Please, Town Board, wake up and deny this one.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jul 8, 15 2:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
TB, what about all of the shoppers that come west to go to the KK or SAS in HB. That might be eliminated by giving them an option in SOH thus reducing congestion on 39.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Jul 8, 15 3:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Two points, dnice:

[1] Those folks you're talking about have a King Kullen in Bridgehampton and a Waldbaum's in Southampton, so I question how many feel the need to go all the way to Hampton Bays to shop.

[2] But let's say some do -- if you really want to see crippling congestion, instead of having those people drive straight through, no matter how slowly, on their way to Hampton Bays, put down a supermarket in Tuckahoe. Then what you'll see is cars turning in and cars turning ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jul 9, 15 3:03 PM
Shirley-to-Boston Causeway per previous posts, complete with wind turbines, tidal electric generating stations, etc. with exits for Napeague, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod etc. Easier and cheaper than any new highway, given costs of eminent domain land acquisitions.

Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle !!!
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Jul 8, 15 2:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
Toll Bridge at the canal:) All joking aside..what is needed is a bypass. 39 was NOT meant to handle this amount of traffic!! And it CAN'T!!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Jul 9, 15 8:38 AM
A bypass? A four lane highway? How and where?

39 was thought to be the solution to Old Montauk Highway, further expansion and development means you're now looking at infringement on private properties.
By PrintedWord### (16), East Hampton on Jul 9, 15 4:24 PM
deal with it! Carpetbaggers from UTI can sit in traffic all they want!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 9, 15 4:40 PM
The Sunrise was originally planned to continue to Montauk in the 60's.

It should have been built then and to Montauk. Since then NIMBYs have ruled and not provided any forethought about how the Island would develop. So deal with the consequences now and stop bitching.

The only solution is a widening and extension of the Sunrise. You need to foot the bill buy the property and build the road. Underground roads and mass transit fantasies will never work and will only push the ...more
By Baymen87 (135), Lugoff, SC on Jul 11, 15 12:40 PM
The road system now in place is all that there will ever be here and due to over development the traffic will get worse, thanks to every Town and Village Board member on the East End who ever voted to allow this to happen.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 14, 15 7:11 AM