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Apr 25, 2012 9:29 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Noyac Road Restrictions Not Viable Some Say

Apr 25, 2012 9:59 AM

A proposal to restrict truck traffic on Noyac Road was blasted by business owners and various officials this week as being an ineffective and unenforceable attempt to solve a larger traffic problem, one that would hamstring businesses financially and do little more than push the problems to other roadways and neighborhoods.

“There are only two roads that travel through the Town of Southampton, and if you take away Noyac Road … you’re going to force the trucks onto the interior roads,” said John Tintle, the owner of Wainscott Sand and Gravel Corporation. “There are places that my business has to travel to, and if those places [take longer to get to], the prices are higher.”

Dozens of business owners like Mr. Tintle turned out at Southampton Town Hall on Tuesday night for a public hearing on the proposal, which would ban trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds from Noyac Road unless they were heading to a local destination. The law would effectively exclude any vehicles larger than a heavy-duty pickup truck, although exceptions for deliveries and business along Noyac Road would mean that trucks would not vanish from the roadway entirely, complicating enforcement of the ban.

“You would have to put a number of [police] vehicles on that road to do enforcement, because, I guarantee you, once you put this in place, the phone is going to ring off the hook to say, ‘There’s a truck on Noyac Road—do something about it,’” Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Tom Fabiano said.

“We all know that road has changed. I don’t take Noyac Road because it is too slow—I get stuck behind a truck,” Chief Fabiano added with a glance at the line of burly truck drivers standing along one wall of the Town Hall meeting room, eliciting a roar of laughter from the audience.

The proposal for the restriction of trucks was born at a meeting with residents this winter to discuss a variety of options the town is considering to make Noyac Road safer, particularly in the vicinity of the popular Cromer’s Market near the eastern end of the nine-mile roadway that snakes along the shoreline of Peconic Bay from Southampton Village to Sag Harbor. Residents bombarded town officials with complaints about noise and the fear that truck traffic on the road sows.

“These trucks do go 45, 50, 55 miles per hour, and it’s a frightening sight to have one barreling toward you, especially at night,” acknowledged Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who lives on Noyac Road.

“My house shakes when those trucks go by,” said Brandi Ackerman, whose house sits just 150 feet off Noyac Road. “I get the picture, but something needs to be done. When we bought our property, Noyac Road did not look like it does today.”

The supervisor noted at the meeting’s outset that the issues raised by business owners and other officials since the law was first introduced last month have led the Town Board to reconsider, and that a number of options are still up for discussion.

She pointed out that many of the complaints, however, had claimed that the alternatives to Noyac Road for truckers were much longer and more costly. But an analysis showed that the Noyac Road link from Sag Harbor to County Road 39 west of Southampton Village was just over 12 miles, while alternative routes using Scuttle Hole Road and the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike were both only 11 miles in length. But congestion on Montauk Highway would mean much longer travel times, opponents said, and add traffic to the already clogged main highway.

“The amount of time we’re going to lose by not using Noyac Road as a thoroughfare is enormous,” carting company owner Mickey Valcich said. “Noyac Road is only really used when traffic congestion is really bad on Route 27, and by implementing this plan, it’s only going to make a bad situation worse.”

Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor said alternatives to the highway without Noyac Road would not be pleasant either, a sentiment emphasized by residents of surrounding areas whose hackles were raised by the prospect of their own roads suddenly getting flooded with truck traffic.

“Where are the trucks going to go? They’re not going to stop coming,” he said. “They’re going to go down the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. They’re going to use Roses Grove and Majors Path. Those roads are not designed to handle that kind of traffic.”

Town Director of Public Transportation Tom Neely said that the town currently restricts truck traffic on approximately 25 roads throughout the town, and Ms. Throne-Holst said that those roads have seen marked relief from safety and noise complaints. Mr. Neely proposed that the town conduct a long-overdue study of its traffic patterns and develop an official truck route, an idea the supervisor said was on the town’s list of priorities.

The board left the public hearing on the proposal open for written comments.

Shelter Island Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty said that dealing with traffic on some roads during peak business times is simply a price that local residents must pay for living on the East End and for keeping the region’s economy bustling.

“We put up with a little inconvenience to make sure that commerce is as efficient and healthy as possible,” Mr. Dougherty said. “I come up with unwise suggestions on a weekly basis—this is an unwise suggestion.”

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Maybe Mr. Tintle should stand by MJ Dowlings with his kids waiting for the bus and he might change his mind or perhaps he can make sure that his drivers dirve the SPEED LIMIT his trucks are not the only ones. I can name a few more, GRIMES, MYZENSKI all drive way over the speed limit. Hope we don't have to wait for some ones child to be killed. Use schuttle hole road!!!
By J. Totta (106), Sag Harbor on Apr 25, 12 11:32 AM
I find it absolutely appalling a police chief would actually speak in favor of NOT making a road safer. Last time I was on this road, I witnessed a landscape truck blow past a stopped school bus. Another time, Wainscott Gravel's truck flew past me & almost blew me off the road. Hey, John - do the math - if you are forced to take the SHORTER route & charge more, you'll make more money. The answer is clear - add TONS of stop signs.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Apr 25, 12 1:08 PM
I feel for people who are angered by trucks driving over the speed limit but keeping them off of Noyac is not the answer. Not everyone drives recklessly and the ones that do need to be dealt with severely. The last thing we need is more regulation and more local government interference.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Apr 25, 12 2:26 PM
The longer a large vehicle sits in traffic, the more fuel it burns. This is a cost increase, manhours spent are a cost increase, amortization on the vehicle, especially if it records "engine hours" are a long term cost increase, repeatedly accelerating a vehicle from a dead stop (sign) is a fuel efficiency killer, sitting idle in highway traffic is a pollution increase, and of course an atmospheric CO2 increase. These are all negative items on a balance sheet, and don't cause you to make more ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 25, 12 5:10 PM
Great reasoning, Mr. Z - let's allow over-loaded dump trucks to go 60 mph on a residential street because if they have to sit in traffic (like everyone else) they'll waste gas & pollute. Who really cares if they accidentially hit a child crossing the road - as long as those truckers can get to their TVs by 5 p.m.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Apr 26, 12 1:33 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 26, 12 5:05 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Apr 27, 12 8:32 PM
Well, I suggest you thumb an article about diesel, soot, nanoparticles, and what thou art inhale from petrodiesel fuel combustion.

Only small amounts of CO are created by a "working" diesel engine. CO2 is a good bit of the exhaust. Why esle would we be working to reduce it by 2015. Particularly petrodiesel has particualates. Biodiesel on the other hand has a bit more NOx, but FAR fewer particulates.

Or so I've heard...

Apr 27, 12 8:59 PM appended by Mr. Z
Though wordy, I thought the above response suited the psuedonym nicely. Oh well...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 27, 12 8:59 PM
BTW, maybe you should try running your internal combustion engine in a sealed environment.

It may prove your triple bond hypothesis...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 29, 12 8:43 AM
It sounded like, if individuals took responsibility for themselves, there wouldn't be the need for government to step in and make it worse. A responsible citizen always has the right of way. I think most of the commercial traffic using that route are responsible. During the Cidiot Season is when law enforcement should be proactive to fill the coffers of our local till. That's what my taxes pay for now. I can't afford more...can you?
By Truth Warrior (11), Southampton on Apr 25, 12 6:29 PM
How come "speed cameras " are not used in Southampton Town? County Road 39 is a joke. Try doing the speed limit, of 35 miles per hour, you'll be amazed at the cars that fly by you doing 55-65 MPH.

Also...how come the police are not writing "tailgate tickets"? I do the speed limit. I am never in a hurry to get from one place to another. But doing the speed limit, often puts people 5 feet of your rear bumper.
By c'mon now (46), southampton on Apr 25, 12 6:57 PM
2 members liked this comment
The time for this planning should have occurred 50 years ago when land was cheap and an alternate road should have been built. Now there are only two ways in 27 and Noyac. The real issue is not just the trucks but the volume of traffic during peak hours and there speeding. If you limit trucks on this road they will just start using other residential streets. I think the town could start with what it already has, police and start truely policing the traffic during peak hours. You know if you pull ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Apr 26, 12 6:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
I believe that although Noyac Rd. is maintained by the Town, it is OWNED by Suffolk County? Has anyone checked that out?
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Apr 26, 12 7:53 AM
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Apr 26, 12 2:30 PM
The speeding is dangerous and annoying on residential backroads, so SHPD start writing tickets. The people who can't stay on their side of the double yellow line, for whatever reason, texting, city people who're part time drivers or the inconsiderate twits who just think they're in-titled to more than half of the road. Ticket them, Ticket them all.

SIMPLE SOLUTION: Enforce the current Laws, Speed Limits etc....

More UNENFORCED laws will do nothing!

By ICE (1214), Southampton on Apr 26, 12 2:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
I lived in a proposed roadway to alleviate the traffic congestion back in the 1980'a. Nothing was done to really correct the problem.
I guess now is the time.... they need a good traffic engineer to do something whether the neighbors like it or not. Doing something now is better than doing nothing! And when the solution lis finished someone is sure to say "Why didn't we do lthat sooner?"
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Apr 26, 12 6:32 PM
If Noyac Rd. is owned by Suffolk County--THEY would have to make the decision whether to close road to truck traffic--not the Town.
What are the chances of that?
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Apr 27, 12 6:42 AM
The Town still would have the right to impose restrictions on vehicle size. If it were a State road then it would be up to the State.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Apr 27, 12 7:04 PM
I find it funny that most of you are so fast to bash these truck drivers, whether right or wrong residential traffic is just as much if not more at fault then commercial traffic. As a resident and a landscape business owner I see this problem both ways but as I recall the majority of motor vehicle accidents that have occurred over the last ten year have involved residential vehicles. To add to that all accidents that I remember in the sag harbor fire district that have included a fatality have had ...more
By MLB (4), Sag Harbor on Apr 27, 12 8:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
And any large truck coming off the Shelter Island Ferry would now have to travel through the bottom end of Main St. Sag Harbor, no? I live off of and drive Noyac Road every day in both directions and have since 1973. Aside from the increase in traffic I see nothing to indicate large trucks are a problem any more than any other vehicles.
By Sandflea (35), Southampton on Apr 27, 12 10:57 AM
And any large truck coming off the Shelter Island Ferry would now have to travel through the bottom end of Main St. Sag Harbor, no? I live off of and drive Noyac Road every day in both directions and have since 1973. Aside from the increase in traffic I see nothing to indicate large trucks are a problem any more than any other vehicles.
By Sandflea (35), Southampton on Apr 27, 12 10:57 AM
1 member liked this comment