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Mar 29, 2012 5:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Public Calls For Simpler Solutions To Make Noyac Road Curve Safer

Apr 3, 2012 3:49 PM

Forget trying to tame a perilous stretch of Noyac Road in Noyac by widening the street, adding medians, curbing and turn lanes, and condemning a piece of private property nearby to put in loading zones—the people want a simpler solution.

The public’s main message at an open forum hosted last week by the Noyac Civic Council was that the bend of Noyac Road by Cromer’s Market and the Whalebone General Store needs to be made safer, and soon, but Southampton Town’s most recent plan under consideration is excessive. Residents suggested low-speed zones, rumble strips, speed bumps and maybe even a ban on commercial through-traffic instead of a restructuring of the roadway planned by the town.

At least 80 people, many of whom live in the Pine Neck neighborhood of Noyac, near the curve in question, turned out for the forum on March 28 at the Bridgehampton Senior Center, possibly the largest community meeting that Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said she has been to in her more than four years in office. The turnout seemed to convince the supervisor that a new approach is required. All four of her fellow Town Board members also attended the forum.

Yet, Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor—who did not attend the meeting, but has been calling for traffic calming measures, such as curbing and medians, to segregate the parking area from Cromer’s and other nearby businesses from the road—said this week he was “confused” by the supervisor’s change of mind to go back for more community input.

“I know the public doesn’t want to see the curbing,” Mr. Gregor said in a phone interview on Monday. “Ninety-nine percent of your shopping experience is in a parking lot that has curbs and a sidewalk. We’re not putting [anything] new here, nothing outrageous, but the folks in Pine Neck and one or two of the business owners think otherwise.”

Indeed, last week’s forum elicited an outpouring of discontent with the latest plan.

A series of plans to calm traffic at the curve, where the posted speed limit is 30 mph, have been drafted over the years, in various versions, each with new costs, dating back to a 2003 hamlet study. The latest plan, drafted by L.K. McLean Associates P.C., calls for widening Noyac Road and constructing a hard backstop median that’s intended to prevent cars from backing out of the Cromer’s and Whalebone parking lot directly onto Noyac Road. A median would curve around the Whalebone, cutting off Bay Avenue from Noyac Road, and a 6-inch-high median would separate the eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic.

The plan also calls for a loading zone to be placed near the Whalebone on a triangular piece of private property that the town would have to buy or condemn, although the property owners have opposed that. Rather than backing out directly into traffic, cars in the lot would have to turn right at the Whalebone onto Bay Avenue and left onto Elm Street to return to Noyac Road. A 3-foot-wide shoulder—not a designated bike lane—would accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians on Noyac Road. Additional medians along Noyac Road would narrow the lanes in a traffic-slowing effort.

Tom Neely, the town’s public transportation and traffic safety director, said the plan also would include drainage improvements, a common feature in virtually all roadway designs of late.

The town has budgeted $480,000 for the traffic-calming efforts along Noyac Road. If any money is reallocated from the project, it must go back into the highway road improvement fund for other highway purposes since it is bonded money specifically for said purposes.

Residents harshly criticized the plan as being too busy, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the Long Island Expressway, industrial areas and the remodeling of the Sagg Pond bridge between Sagaponack and Bridgehampton, for example.

“I’m in favor of a low-tech approach, whether you look at this as conflict points or potential bumper cars,” said Karen Hensel, a Crescent Street resident. “I think we are all in agreement that the demographics on Long Beach and Noyac roads have really changed.

“I mean, it’s become Montauk Highway revisited. I looked at this with horror,” she said of the current plan, adding, “I look at maybe $100,000 spent on studies, then I look at the potential of putting in four stop signs.” The audience applauded her comments.

“When I look at this, I think of that thing that they always say about when you see a doctor,” said Judy Carmichael, a Noyac Road resident who lives along the curve. “You go to see a surgeon, and they always recommend surgery. This seems way too complicated.”

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Banning commercial traffic would be a problem, as stores like Cromer's are supplied BY commercial vehicles.

I pass through there frequently, as I do drive commercially, and can tell you the major problem is SPEED. The bend is not dangerous, there is a reasonable amount of visibility in both directions. The serious problem with eastbound traffic coming from Long Beach is the fact that too many people barrel around the bend at 40 MPH, or faster while passing Cromer's. This ain't the "Wild ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 29, 12 5:41 PM
3 members liked this comment
There he goes again, snubbing the people he is supposed to be serving.
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Mar 29, 12 6:25 PM
Since the widening of County Rd 39, traffic now favors the Noyac Road shortcut. The increased traffic has caused issues for everyone who lives along Noyac Road. Its dangerous and banning commercial traffic would be a great start along with more stop signs to slow the pace down. The Sebonic folks implemented a "No Left Turn' off of Cty Rd 39 to limit traffic along their road and we should do the same. It should begin with closing off Sandy Hollow then North Sea Roads to limit the flow of Traffic. ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Mar 30, 12 6:29 AM
Stop signs are the WORST idea... Look at the back up on Head of Pond Rd... Whomever thinks this world needs more stop signs is crazy. Let alone patrols, we have enough cops, enough stop signs, enough limitations on our community already. If you want more limitations, you belong in an assisted living facility.
And, our police are only here late at night to keep the DWI busting train going. There's not enough money in it for them to be here during the day.
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Mar 30, 12 10:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
finally Anna is listening to the People!!! and not doing what SHE wants.
By J. Totta (106), Sag Harbor on Mar 30, 12 9:05 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By J. Totta (106), Sag Harbor on Mar 30, 12 9:05 AM
This corner is a disaster. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, but something needs to be done.
By Wagoneer (28), Southampton on Mar 30, 12 11:51 AM
The danger is entirely due to Cromer's and the way their parking area opens up onto the road putting regular traffic at risk. I don't see why the town has to go to this expense on their behalf. I would suggest requiring all these businesses along Noyac Road not have open lots to the road but designated entrances and exits. It will certainly not eliminate the whole issue of traffic pulling in and out. Other examples of similar situation along that road that come to mind are the Country Deli and the ...more
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Mar 30, 12 7:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
$100,000 speeding tickets. that will fix it
By sleightjames (8), east quogue on Mar 31, 12 12:44 PM
3 members liked this comment
Regardless of the complaints by some in the area about the plan, the free-for-all of cars and trucks pulling in and out of the entire length of the parking lot is a major problem, especially when they are backing out. Do some road straightening to provide more space on the north side but put in some kind of curbing to limit ingress and egress points to the stores.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Apr 1, 12 11:52 PM
I sincerely wish Mr. Gregor had been at the meeting, or spent more time in PineNeck. The one thing the article in the Press doesn't point out that is a serious concern to those of us who will be adversely effected by his favored plan for the "cromers parking lot problem" is that it will funnel traffic INTO PineNeck, a residential community with very narrow roads. In the summer families and children walk these roads on their way to Circle Beach or Hidden Cove Marina. Boat owners who live in this ...more
By PineNeck Dio (10), Southampton on Apr 6, 12 4:32 PM
"this is a CUT THRU"

When did Noyac Road become a cut thru? Noyac Road is a main road and has been for years.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 12 9:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
How about slowing down?
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Apr 10, 12 4:37 PM
If you recall, we had this problem on Scuttlehole Road years ago and the Town refused to add stop signs there. Now there are 2 all stop intersections and a roundabout...and no more traffic accidents. Time to install stop signs on Noyac Road. It would also help if Cromer's cleaned up their back parking lot so folks could use that as well. Where's Code Enforcement?
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Apr 11, 12 9:21 AM