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Jul 30, 2013 6:12 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Traffic Solutions Remain Elusive Following Accidents Requiring The Closure Of County Road 39

Jul 31, 2013 11:18 AM

A fatal accident on County Road 39 in Southampton brought East End traffic to a grinding halt for almost an entire business day last Thursday, July 25, marking the second time in a just over a year that the South Fork’s main artery was closed in both directions for several hours, making passage eastbound over the Shinnecock Canal nearly impossible until well into the evening.

Last week’s crash, which closed the four-lane highway for nearly nine hours, was followed just four days later by another serious accident a few miles to the east, which again resulted in the closure of the four-lane highway, this time for almost five hours on Monday morning.

Those two accidents—coupled with another non-lethal crash that occurred on July 24, 2012, near the terminus of Sunrise Highway, closing County Road 39 in both directions for nearly six hours—have raised questions about why the highway must be closed for such long stretches of time, especially in cases when there are no fatalities.

The three incidents, which resulted in the complete closure of County Road 39 for 20 hours combined and during peak commuting times, also left many drivers and local residents wondering what steps, if any, have been taken by Southampton Town and its police department officials since last year’s accident to help alleviate the massive traffic that always ensues following a summer crash.

Town Police officials said this week that long closures are unavoidable when there is a fatality, explaining that extensive investigations must be conducted by various agencies, some of which must send a representative to the accident scene from locations far to the west.

Town Police Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa, who responded to both recent accidents, said a fatal car crash must be treated like any other death investigation, meaning that the scene should be disturbed as little as possible while investigating agencies take detailed measurements and photographs, and document all evidence.

Many of the same agencies, she added, must still be called in when there is a serious, non-fatal crash, though in those cases the road closures tend to be shorter but can still last several hours.

The Suffolk County medical examiner’s office, which is based in Hauppauge, does not have to send an official to the scene to declare a driver or passenger dead in fatal accidents. Rather, that task can be completed by a certified paramedic or qualified police personnel, Sgt. Costa said. Still, a representative of the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office, as well as representatives of other agencies, must be called in to investigate before a road can be reopened.

Southampton Village Fire Department public information officer Chris Brenner said his department was called to the scene at 7:05 a.m. on July 25, where they helped manage traffic, assisted in the cleanup of the road and extricated the body of the victim—29-year-old Carissa Castillo of Shirley—using the Jaws of Life.

Mr. Brenner said Ms. Castillo’s body was not immediately removed from the car, in accordance with Town Police directions, and declined to say how long it was there before being extricated. He noted that the extrication process took between 10 and 15 minutes, and that his department was off the scene by 12:45 p.m.

Following last week’s fatal crash, a head-on collision between an SUV and a Hampton Jitney bus, several agencies had to be called to the scene. In addition to Town Police detectives, representatives of the State Police Forensic ID and Collision Reconstruction Unit, the Suffolk County Police Motor Carrier Unit, the State Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Unit and the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office all had to conduct their own separate investigations of the scene, which spanned a half mile of road littered with debris. Additionally, the Suffolk County Department of Public Works and the Southampton Fire Department had to clear the scene of debris and various fluids strewn across the road before it could be reopened to traffic, Sgt. Costa said.

“It’s a death investigation,” she said. “It’s a complete forensic investigation of the entire scene, which was a half mile long. It’s a coordination of multiple agencies, the collection of forensic evidence.

“It’s somebody’s life that we’re talking about here,” she continued. “We have to do everything we can to make sure we do our due diligence.”

A non-lethal crash that occurred at 4:37 a.m. on Monday on County Road 39, a few miles east of the fatal accident, involved a Hampton Jitney bus and a garbage truck. That accident still forced the closure of the entire road for nearly five hours as many of the same agencies had to be called in, including the Suffolk County Police Motor Carrier Unit, which provides assistance to investigations of death and serious injury, as well as accidents involving buses or trucks, as all three crashes in 2012 and 2013 that closed County Road 39 did.

Suffolk County Police Deputy Inspector Thaddeus Nieves wrote in an email this week that each accident they respond to—most of which are fatal or involve serious injuries—is handled on a case-by-case basis, meaning that the extent of the subsequent road closures can vary considerably. Still, most require that the road be closed down and traffic diverted until it is “appropriate” to allow traffic through again when a thorough investigation is complete.

Mr. Nieves noted that fatal accident investigations taking place in his jurisdiction generally include taking photographs of the scene, taking detailed measurements, interviewing potential witnesses, collecting detailed evidence and impounding the involved vehicles, among other duties. It is not unusual for those tasks to take several hours to complete.

“While the [Suffolk County Police] department is aware that closing a road may be inconvenient to motorists, our primary focus is ensuring our police investigation has been fully completed and that the road is safe for travel to resume upon it,” Mr. Nieves wrote.

His prepared response did not offer an explanation in terms of how long his officers typically close a major roadway following a fatality. The Suffolk County Police Department Public Information Office did not respond to requests seeking additional information regarding its procedures in such accidents.

Vanessa Baird-Streeter, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone, did not respond to calls and an email with questions regarding county procedure during fatal motor vehicle accidents.

Beau Duffy, a public information officer with the State Department of Transportation, said the length of time a road must be closed after a serious crash varies, explaining that it depends on the circumstances of each accident. He did note that fatal accidents typically take longer to investigate, though it is not an absolute rule. He said the delays usually boil down to how quickly police can finish gathering all evidence and information.

“With any closure, you want to get traffic restored as quickly as possible, but every accident is different,” Mr. Duffy said.

The geography of the East End, and the fact that there are only two ways to cross the Shinnecock Canal by car, the other being Montauk Highway, make alleviating traffic during such circumstances almost impossible.

“We are obviously constrained by our geography here, with only one major roadway, but that is the nature of our long and narrow island,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, noting that Town Board members are supposed to discus the situation during this week’s work session.

Although strategies for better handling traffic were discussed after last year’s non-fatal crash, Southampton Town Director of Public Transportation and Traffic Safety Thomas Neely said he was not involved in any follow-up discussions with the Town Police or the supervisor’s office. He added that, to his knowledge, there weren’t any follow-up meetings

Mr. Neely said the concerns were discussed at length during last year’s meeting, with both he and former Town Police Chief William Wilson agreeing that their options were limited. Mr. Neely said there have been discussions about how to handle similar incidents during evacuations, including utilizing roads such as Montauk Highway as one-way streets, an option that he said was determined to be ill-advised as it would create more hazards.

New strategies are in the works for handling other potential traffic disruptions, such as weather-related evacuations, which Mr. Neely said would be easier managed than a major accident because officials would have ample time to inform drivers of route changes and position police officers to direct flow instead of haphazardly attempting to do so at a moment’s notice.

“We have a very fragile transportation network here,” Mr. Neely said. “There is basically no redundancy in the system. There are two roads in and out, so there’s very little we can do when we don’t have advance notice.”

One initiative the town developed in the wake of the 2012 crash was three-pronged alert system that included spreading the word of such closures via Facebook and Twitter, and through a mass alert system called CodeRED. The system was specifically introduced to alert town residents of major occurrences, such as traffic backups.

No notification was sent out after either accident, and a call placed to Ms. Throne-Holst to explain why was not immediately returned.

Ms. Throne-Holst declined to specify what steps have been taken since last year’s crash, or what discussions she’s had with the new police chief, Robert Pearce, since he took over the post late last year. She deferred all discussion on the issue until Thursday morning’s work session.

“We had started that conversation last year after a similar crash almost exactly one year prior in the same area,” Ms. Throne-Holst said on Friday. “We have to have that conversation continue now under the new administration.”

Town Police Lieutenant James Kiernan said the department’s administration realizes how crash investigations can be an inconvenience to drivers, adding that he hopes to have a plan in place in time for upcoming budget discussions. He said a discussion had been going on prior to last week’s crash, and that Chief Pearce would be brought in to participate in those talks this week.

Lt. Kiernan said the goal is to have “a balance between quality investigation and public inconvenience. You want to produce that quality product, and you want keep the community up and running,” adding that such as balance has not yet been found.

Chief Pearce did not respond to repeated requests seeking comment this week.

Lt. Kiernan is hopeful that the traffic can be reduced in the future but said it will always be something commuters will have to deal with to some extent during accident investigations.

“There’s a certain amount that people are going to have to deal with—nothing can alleviate all of the problem, but I believe there are things that can reduce it,” he said. “We don’t have the alternative routes that can handle a large amount of traffic like other parts of the county.”

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman said steps have been taken in recent years to reduce the amount of time it takes to clear an accident scene, such as changing the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office policy that had required a representative from that office to declare someone dead at the scene. He added that he would be willing to explore other options, such as creating offices closer to the East End for those entities that must respond to fatal accidents.

Ultimately, he said, the issue is one that needs to be handled by Town Police.

“We have to look at what procedures are in place and how they can be improved,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I’m happy to come in and bring in whatever county resources I can, but, ultimately, that is something that should be headed by the Southampton Town PD.”

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Why are u locking all of the articles??? I will never subscribe to a news website. Stop being so greedy!! Typical "hamptons" behavior. Cant wait for the day I move out of this place. 27 years is enough!
By springsmom (29), East Hampton on Aug 2, 13 7:05 AM
1 member liked this comment
The Press News Group is a local business that employs dozens of local workers who rely on their jobs to support their families. The simple, honest answer is that researching, reporting and printing news stories costs money, from the reporters who write the stories to the graphic artists who assemble the papers to the drivers who deliver the papers--not to mention a top-notch support staff answering telephones and helping customers.
While some of our income is met by advertising, we need people ...more
By Bill Sutton, Managing Editor (116), Westhampton Beach on Aug 2, 13 7:23 AM
Ditto to Mr. Sutton.

Folks 27east is WAY ahead of the other local publications in this regard. Go to the websites of the the other East End weeklies, or Newsday, etc.. They are not even CLOSE IMO.

The cost of an annual subscription beyond the first year is about $10 per year I believe, or about 2.8 CENTS a day.

This minimal cost makes cents!
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 8:15 AM
Springsmom, if you want to read the articles subscribe, its that simple.

By jacks (70), hampton bays on Aug 2, 13 8:41 AM
Don't let the door hit you on the kiester on your way out!
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 10:43 AM
Well said Bill.
By 5TH GEN (3), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 2:20 PM
Are the solutions elusive or are the people with the groin to implement them elusive?
Aug 2, 13 7:25 AM appended by KevinLuss
i log on with facebook and it picks up my birth place. go easy on motown! :>)
By KevinLuss (356), Detroit, Michigan on Aug 2, 13 7:25 AM
Again -- the solution is right in front of us.

Use the LIRR tracks to fire up the East End Shuttle scoot trains which the MTA has already ordered.

Where are you, Supv. Throne-Holst and Rep. Thiele?

Time to LEAD!

Build it and they will come . . .

By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 8:19 AM
PS -- If you had a blocked coronary artery, and your MD said he/she wanted to force more blood into your system, would you approve this option -- or ask for a bypass operation?

Come on folks, aren't we smart enough to see that the light at the end of the tunnel is the East End Shuttle's headlight?
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 8:23 AM
Oh ye of little faith . . .

Is your option of ending the Sunrise at Westhampton a better solution?
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 9:26 AM
Wouldn't the more organic terminus be Hampton Bays until a raised East End Super Highway can be constructed alongside of a high speed monorail connecting East 96th Street with East Hampton?
By Frank Wheeler (1818), Northampton on Aug 2, 13 11:23 AM
After decades of study and no action on public transportation, $37.2 million was place in the in the MTA Capital Budget which was approved by the State Legislature in 2012 at my request. The trains are scheduled to be purchased by the LIRR in 2014. The purchase of these trains will permit shuttle trains to be used by the LIRR on the the diesel part of the LIRR on the East End, allowing more frequent service and intra-island service. I think that is leading.............

Assemblyman Fred ...more
By shadow captain (34), sag harbor on Aug 2, 13 2:48 PM
After decades of studies and inaction, at my request, the State Legislature in 2012 included $37.2 million for scoot diesels for the East End which are scheduled to be purchased by the MTA in 2014 under their capital plan. In case, you forgot, I also led the creation of the pilot project for a shuttle during the CR 39 reconstruction several years back. That pilot project led to the MTA including the East End Shuttle in its Capital Plan and funding by the State Legislature. I think that is leadership......

Assemblyman ...more
By shadow captain (34), sag harbor on Aug 2, 13 2:54 PM
Great article by the Press which I see as a direct reaction to the commentary that occured on the two previous artciles. Essentially the Press listened to what their customers were saying and provided the information. Nice to see.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 9:24 AM
2 members liked this comment
There's just too many people out here now and there's no reversing that. Speaking of 'greed', 'greed' is what got us into this mess, and there doesn't look like there's any way out of it. Roads will get wider, and they will get more and more congested. There will be more accidents, and there will be more deaths unfortunately. The people who make the decisions out here dug their grave many years ago. Unfortunately it's the innocent others that have to lay in it.
By johnj (1017), Westhampton on Aug 2, 13 9:40 AM
2 members liked this comment
As I stated on another thread, overexploitation of a confined space.
By Mr. Z (11561), North Sea on Aug 2, 13 10:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
Z - you have to acknowledge we all share a portion of the responsibility in that, right down to the founding families who exiled the Native's to their respective reservations
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 10:32 AM
Keeping in mind that the "confined space" is CR 39, and that the train tracks are an under-utilized "space."

If, say, 20-30% of the commuters would use the East End Shuttle, wouldn't this help with the CR39 problem?

SOME partial solution using the train tracks is coming, it is just a matter of time and attitude-adjustment by the car-centric public. As the pain of driving rises, the gain of taking the train will also IMO, assuming a well thought out rail/bus solution can be implemented.

Given ...more
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 10:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
Do you think the more you comment/harp on it, the more likely it is to occur? Repeating one's self is a sign of impatience - no?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 10:57 AM
Still re-adjusting the blinders I jostled, I guess?
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 11:18 AM
Not really. We had to live with the horrible roadwork that was done over the winter, which did irreversible damage to not only my vehicle but my mental health as well and it was all for naught. Traffic is still horrible and just as many accidents this year as last.
By johnj (1017), Westhampton on Aug 2, 13 11:50 AM
Forhorn, in case you haven't noticed, it gets worse every year, and the rate of "worsening" is not linear, it is accelerating (as one would expect with an increase in participants bouncing off each other in a limited space).

You can keep staring at the past in the rear-view mirror, keep wishing the Sunrise would end in Eastport, and the LIE go back to ending at the Veterans' Memorial Highway.

Keep looking backwards, and you may be startled when the future smacks you in the windshield, ...more
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 2:06 PM
These accidents are a direct result of an instatiable want to turn Southampton into Riverhead.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Aug 2, 13 10:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
I wholly disagree with that. Your reference to Riverhead I presume is in relation to the big box stores and shopping centers (soon to be home of Wal*Mart and Christmas Tree Shoppe) along Route 58. Southampton Town has *none* of that aside from a PC Richard's which has been there forever and a couple high-end car dealerships.

The reason there is traffic is because the Hamptons are, and for the immediate future will continue to be, a destination of the wealthy and middle class alike. Until ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 12:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
Actually, this accident was a result of texting!
By lursagirl (238), southampton on Aug 2, 13 3:56 PM
And you know that, how?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 5:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
There should be a LIGHT at the end of sunrise to control the congestion, TRAFFIC CAMERAS also!!! And the tourists should learn to drive correctly, have COP, volunteers, traffic control and military Police if need be) Starting from County Rd 111 (Manorville) exit. I realize that locals drive on there also and they do travel on that road EVERYDAY(Not just on weekends) so with that said On WEEKENDS CAMERAS, COPS and TRAFFIC LIGHT SHOULD BE IN FULL EFFECT!!!!!!! Try and get the TOURISTS TO CAR POOL ...more
By wpoole (14), westhampton beach on Aug 2, 13 11:38 AM
"military police". Really?

A light won't achieve anything - only create more traffic as Mr. Neely points out (busses/trucks are slow to get up to speed after a traffic light, blocking everyone behind them).

Cameras are only good for ticketing people running lights. You don't want cameras to enforce speeding ala Europe.

As much as I hate to agree with PBR - shuttle trains/busses is an effective way of moving large numbers of people and has been used somewhat successfully ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 12:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
Must be nice living in that very special and private world of yours.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Aug 3, 13 11:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
Those who espoused the "If you build it they will come" syndrome failed and the politicos who avoided taking the bull by the horns failed us. It was not built, but "they" came anyway and our pols posture and provide lip service but accomplish nothing. It's amazing from how many sides of their mouths they can speak depending upon their audience. We need people with the courage to do what's needed in government to serve the majority.

Terminate the LIRR in Westhampton, add a park and ride ...more
Aug 2, 13 12:51 PM appended by VOS
This is, of course, not to be considered a comprehensive plan, but a stepping off point for discussion; the naysayers will immediately use it for a launchpad to nitpick every facet. Ripping up the tracks and plowing a gravel path would probably overwhelm today's budgets, much less needed overpasses and grade crossing eliminations. Environmental considerations exist but can be overcome if there is a will to improve rather than obstruct. The situation's not going to cure itself.
By VOS (1224), WHB on Aug 2, 13 12:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Oh VOS - looks like Chief has led you astray.

A four-lane road requires ~ 75' (including shoulders which would be needed for potential breakdowns). Average LIRR ROW is 50' and in some places notably smaller.

What do you propose for areas where the LIRR crosses roadways (particularly in HB in residential areas)?

How do you propose to properly drain the roadway? There's no land for sumps.

How do you address noise/safety impacts for residential properties adjacent ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 1:20 PM
2 members liked this comment
Right on, Nature.

VOS your proposal has the simplistic appeal of looking like a solution, when in fact it opens up a can of worms, and Nature only hit the high points of what is wrong with it.

Have a good weekend.
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 1:55 PM
Tossing out ludacris suggestions then saying "well, I don't have to PROVE it's reasonable, but at least I'm offering help" is not, in fact, offering help. It's ludacris.

What needs to be looked at is: How many people "need" (re: want) to go over the canal, how many people can be supported over the canal, and how can our existing infrastructure handle it.

Saying we should rip up the LIRR and put in a road only exacerbates the problem. If that were to be developed (as you propose), ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 2:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
We could put that elevated highway in over the tracks. We could have this place looking like Queens and the BQE in no time.

And, digging a tunnel?

Definitely cost prohibitive.
By Mr. Z (11561), North Sea on Aug 2, 13 2:29 PM
Folks:

"Train" eyes on solution in front of face.

Pylons -- not pile-ons.

Aphorisms up the ying yang . . .

Have a good weekend.
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 2:37 PM
First, Ludacris is a rapper who, as far as I know, hasn't weighed in on this topic yet - perhaps he hasn't heard from Chief yet, he may be a follower which would make one of us. What is ludicrous is repeating the same mistakes repeatedly. What will it take for you to realize mass transit, regardless of how it is improved, will not work in the target area. What is the Springs homeowner to do when he gets off the train in East Hampton? How will he get out to dinner Saturday night and to the beach ...more
By VOS (1224), WHB on Aug 2, 13 10:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
I misread your description and thought it would be starting from Westhampton (which honestly would make more sense).

Ok, problem number 1: Your proposal to have an exit from sunrise between HB and EQ would require the paving of a road through the CORE of the Pine Barrens. This area is protected from development by NYS law. Additionally, it's "parkland" owned by the state/county/town. So, to get this road built you would need an act by the NYS Legislature to alienate the parkland AND ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 3, 13 8:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
Its funny how the environmentalist wants to do absolutely nothing. The bypass works just fine on the North Fork but for some reason wouldn't work here where we have three times the traffic. How many millions of gallons of fuel have been wasted sitting in traffic all these decades? What about all the lost time of people missing work and being unproductive? Between the railroad right of ways the electrical right of ways and farmland there is plenty of room to build a bypass. What about all the construction ...more
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 3, 13 9:03 AM
2 members liked this comment
Nature, now do you understand?
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 3, 13 9:30 AM
Ok - well the Southfork HAS a bypass. It's called Montauk Highway. Southfork has TWO major roads, just like the North Fork. Volume on NoFo is less than SoFo and there's no canal to cross (meaning there are many "back roads" to take throughout the NoFo - but there's no "back road" to take across the canal and really no back roads until you get near the village)

Further - it sounds like what you and VOS want to do is encourage more people to come to the east end. When will the east end ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 3, 13 9:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
You sure are a nimby. If we take out the railroad tracks we can replace the train with buses.The buses are a lot more efficient way to move people on the East End. Nine months out of the year the train is running basically empty.You are being very disengenuous by saying that the Montauk Highway is comparable to the north road that runs on the North Fork. The idea that not building the highway will keep people out is plain ignorance and arrogance. Someday a highway will be built weather you like ...more
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 3, 13 11:09 AM
Didn't say it's over populated - and never said LIRR or MTA are cost effective - just that they're an effective means of transporation.

You claim the LIRR is empty most of the year - so you'd rather have an empty highway most of the year at the cost of *billion+* tax dollars and the environment?

It won't be built, not now not never. But again, feel free to run this up the flagpole and tell me how it goes.

Last thing I'll say on this topic:

What's more important ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 3, 13 11:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
Btw - if you think the "bypass" works fine on the NoFo, take a drive there on weekends in October and tell me how good it is at keeping traffic flowing
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 3, 13 12:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
You really don't get it, do you? The proposal to build a bypass was quashed twenty years ago because narrow minded people somehow believed that by not improving roads we could keep people from reaching the east end and we'd all have "a beautiful, bucolic, idyllic, place that balances human population with open space, farmland, natural waterways, quiet spaces and the like".

That philosophy was a dismal FAILURE! We didn't build it, and they came anyway. I asked a few days ago if anyone ...more
Aug 3, 13 1:11 PM appended by VOS
I must check with the real estate people I know to see how many people they have on a wait list for homes when a proper road is built.
By VOS (1224), WHB on Aug 3, 13 1:11 PM
You didn't answer what's important VOS. Why do YOU choose to live out here?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 3, 13 1:36 PM
I also would also like to see more traffic lights installed. I live in Shinnecock Hills, off of Route 39. As much as I like to drive fast, I think the traffic needs to be slowed down to make driving on this route safer and hopefully resulting in less accidents. I find it almost impossible to cross the highway by bike or on foot. I see people everyday, trying to cross, stuck in the middle lane as the cars speed by at 60 MPH in both directions. This is very dangerous. Lights might not be great ...more
By housedoc1 (12), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 1:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thing is Doc, the lights are already designed that way.

People disregarding the speed limit by more than 5 MPH screws up the gaps in traffic.
By Mr. Z (11561), North Sea on Aug 2, 13 2:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
After decades of studies and inaction, at my request, the State Legislature in 2012 included $37.2 million for scoot diesels for the East End which are scheduled to be purchased by the MTA in 2014 under their capital plan. In case, you forgot, I also led the creation of the pilot project for a shuttle during the CR 39 reconstruction several years back. That pilot project led to the MTA including the East End Shuttle in its Capital Plan and funding by the State Legislature. I think that is leadership......

Assemblyman ...more
By shadow captain (34), sag harbor on Aug 2, 13 2:54 PM
Yes sir, your previous leadership has been acknowledged here. Well done indeed on a variety of issues through the years.

In your opinion, in this election year can any additional efforts be made now, so that The East End is ready with specific plans for buses, bus stops, schedules, etc. to interconnect with the new scoot trains in 2014?

Should not these transportation issues be a visible and important aspect of the candidates' platforms now? Where do the SH Town candidates stand ...more
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 2, 13 3:48 PM
Psst - PBR: I don't think it's ACTUALLY Fred Thiele. And if it is, wow that's scary (based on previous comments by "shadow captain")
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 13 4:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hopefully shadow captain, whoever he or she is, will reply and not turn out to be a hit-and-run poster like the moniker "theresa quigley" was in the article regarding the Shark Attack event in Montauk.
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 3, 13 6:05 AM
PBR, now you've got me wondering about the pros and cons of our very own Peconic County.
By Mr. Z (11561), North Sea on Aug 3, 13 1:00 PM
. . . with its own Peconic Bay Regional Transportation Authority?

Kinda has a nice ring to the acronym :)

PBR TA

By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 3, 13 1:49 PM
There is a brand new 45 MPH sign posted near Revco.

Another sign on the east side of 39a near the LIRR tracks has a 35 MPH plywood sign over the metal one.

Wonder why this road has so many wrecks?

How can the road engineers and our LEADERS expect to reduce accidents, when they have told the traffic coming from the Lobster Inn merge that it is OK to *** SPEED UP *** 10 MPH on the new part of 39a east of 7/11?

Mind blowing . . .

Have a good weekend.
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 3, 13 9:38 AM
As the Press's masterful editorial on Thursday asked:

"Who is in charge?"
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 3, 13 9:39 AM
Linda Kabot what is your solution?I would like to know before I vote for you,I do know Anna does not have any and the Police Chief is silent,
By Etians rd (541), Southampton on Aug 3, 13 12:39 PM
My solution is to move Hampton Jitney Garage up Island and provide a police escort when they are travelling on Count Rd 39.
By Etians rd (541), Southampton on Aug 3, 13 12:47 PM
Although the Jitney was not apparently at fault in the fatal accident, and fault/causation remains to be determined in the dump truck accident?
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 3, 13 1:51 PM
Your all forgetting the best solution.Build a causeway over the Peconic Bay all the way to Montauk. That would be a beautiful drive.
By V.Tomanoku (784), southampton on Aug 4, 13 8:39 AM
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The Shirley to Boston Causeway might be more cost effective (including monorail).

Phase II (Virginia Beach VA to Shirley hub offshore) would cut many hours off various 50-700 mile-long trips.

Extend Wm. Floyd south and have exits where needed incl. 3-6 before Montauk, then Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Cape Cod, etc.

Multi-purpose structurally could include wind turbine towers, solar panels on entire south facing roadway side panels incl. dropped sides, submersible ...more
By Nero (290), Sag Harbor on Aug 4, 13 1:18 PM
LOL, my vision was not as ambitious as yours but I get it. Ask for more than you want and hope they settle for less. I was thinking of the wind turbines though. Generate our own power out here and sell back to the grid...Any more yes votes folks?
By V.Tomanoku (784), southampton on Aug 4, 13 5:46 PM
LIE was shutdown this afternoon in both directions @ exit 70. 27West was a mess (also had to be closed down this evening briefly for an accident). I followed an ambulance from Southampton that couldn't make any headway due to traffic.

VOS/Chief: Guess we should just cut a new road right through the Pine Barrens right?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 4, 13 8:20 PM
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Nature if you knew everything like you think, you would know the Sunrise Hwy was designed for 4 lanes each way. The bridge in Westhampton is extra wide so two mores lanes can be added . The bridge in Quogue and H B can be added to very easily. The right away for the Sunrise is over 150 ft wide and already has the sumps ready for draining the road. There would be no infringing on the Pine Barrens, and no enviromental inpact like you think.
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 4, 13 10:04 PM
Chief - if you could comprehend what I wrote, you'd understand I was implying a new road should be built between the LIE and Sunrise Highway.

LIE was closed Westbound yesterday @ 70. 27 West was closed yesterday due to an accident outside of HB.

Traffic was a nightmare - but it doesn't mean new roads need to be constructed. Same thing with 39/Montauk Highway. Accidents happen a few times a year causing traffic and frustration - but doesn't mean you need a new road that will ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 5, 13 9:15 AM
A study was done that found widening and building more roadways simply led to more development which led to more traffic. It's called induced demand. In Europe, they've used congestion pricing. Bloomberg tried to introduce congestion pricing to midtown Manhattan, but it was a no-go.
By btdt (449), water mill on Aug 5, 13 12:01 AM
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This isn't Europe people will come here wether we build a hwy or not. So lets make it faster and safer for everyone. The commerce, sales tax revenue, and tolls from the road would be beneficial to the economy . Its time politicians take their heads out of the sand and make a real plan to fix traffic congestion.
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 5, 13 7:52 AM
Repetition of idealistic pipe dreams suggests you can see the politicians' heads right next to yours IMO. (In the sand in case you don't understand.)

A new highway of the scale you propose would be fantastically expensive, take at least a decade to complete (after all eminent domain court appeals), and would just bring MORE CONGESTION !!!

What part of the craziness of your vision do you not get?
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 5, 13 8:12 AM
The expense part would be paid by tolls, tax from fuel, and a public private partnership like the one proposed for the Tappan Zee Bridge.
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 5, 13 8:32 AM
The "expense" of this grandiose undertaking would boggle even some peoples feeble minds. (see what I did there? I didn't call anyone out so this post should stay) You do realize the price tags on this would tickle the billion dollar mark, don't you?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Aug 5, 13 9:58 AM
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chief1, your replies are so utterly devoid of FACTS and counter-arguments in support of your vision that I will do my best to ignore you from now on. [and this covers at least ten articles worth of requests for an adult reply from you, to engage on the real difficulties inherent in any solution for the 39a problem, including using the LIRR tracks]
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 5, 13 10:13 AM
Daniel-san,

First use tool in front of eyes.

Tracks on, tracks off.

Kah!
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 5, 13 6:14 AM
Improvements to the railroad infrastructure on Long Island will benefit us greatly in the long run IMO. In Tuesday there is a short video on the recent meeting of the East of Hudson Rail Freight Task Force regarding the new Brookhaven Rail Terminal in Yaphank. There is also a new bulk rail car unloading facility at the former Grumman Plant in Calverton, although it is not used very much apparently.

Any of these locations would make a natural inter-modal transportation hub, with the East ...more
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 6, 13 2:39 PM
Hmm take a train on the Greenport line to a freight yard than transfer to a bus that goes to the Hamptons. Hey PBR did you realize the Montauk Line runs through the whole South Fork? Boy this idea is pure genius. Lol
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 7, 13 7:36 AM
PBR - no one in their right mind is going to DRIVE to isolated industrial rail yard to hop on the train and go to the NYC when they could drive to Ronkonkoma and take the train (especially after the "Hub" project is completed.

You have SOME good ideas PBR - but this one is the most half baked you've ever proposed
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 9, 13 11:26 AM
As I said on another thread, I have disclaimed all accuracy in chief1's posts.

Moreover, the post above was GENERALLY about the need to upgrade Long Island's rail infrastructure.

If you take the time to read my comment CAREFULLY,

AND POST EXACT QUOTES [NOT TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT] ABOUT WHAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND,

I will reply.

Thank you.

PS, the main point bout the East End Shuttle being "one possibility" is that its rail yard, maintenance shop, ...more
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 9, 13 12:59 PM
PS2 Nature, it is entirely likely that the Ronkonkoma yard and the ones in Yaphank and/or Calverton could be linked on merged in some fashion.

Also please look up the words "possibility," "could," "may," and so forth. This is the vocabulary about POSSIBILITIES, DREAMS, and THE UNKNOWN, just to get a conversation started.

Just because new concepts don't fit in the little boxes inside your head is no reason to shoot them down, in the early stages of brainstorming .. .. ..

Really.
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 9, 13 1:03 PM
PBR - you state: "Any of these locations would make a natural inter-modal transportation hub, with the East ...more End Shuttle being one possibility. It could also be a Park and Ride lot for NYC-bound passengers, especially if dedicated commuter trains could leave from here and bypass Jamaica."

You referenced "Yaphank Rail Terminal". SO, Yaphank Rail Terminal = "any one of these locations", can we agree?

WHY would someone take the time to drive to BRT (as it's known) which is ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 9, 13 3:14 PM
Once again you have cherry picked the language and not read my comment as merely suggesting some possibilities. The general point is that none of rail facilities mentioned, including Ronkonkoma, is going to serve all our needs for the next 50 years by itself.

Broaden your vision.

Private can become public.

A new monorail or MagLev dedicated line from somewhere west of Riverhead right to NYC, Chicago and Denver?

Dream big.

Get out YOUR crayons on the ...more
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 9, 13 3:55 PM
That's why they're re-doing Ronkonkoma... but I guess your blinders only let you see SHT town?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 10, 13 10:09 AM
Did you even read the exact words in my post above?

Jeez . . .

" . . . none of the rail facilities . . . including Ronkonkoma . . . is going to serve our needs for the next 50 years BY ITSELF." [Emphasis added]

Give us all a break here, or take reading comprehension -- or patience -- lessons. Mine is shot dealing with your stubbornness.

And you come back and comment about MY blinders!
By PBR (4947), Southampton on Aug 10, 13 10:54 AM
The couple of months we are assaulted by the UTIs and their indefensible driving are a small price to pay to live in one of the truly great places on earth. Slow the hell down, leave enough time to get to your destination and pay attention! Not too hard a concept to grasp is it?
By bigfresh (4548), north sea on Aug 9, 13 4:10 PM
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