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Apr 1, 2009 10:26 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

School officials want county bus stop moved

Apr 1, 2009 10:26 AM

An increasing amount of bus, car and pedestrian traffic around the Newtown Lane bus stop, across from the East Hampton Middle School, has worried school officials enough that they are lobbying for the bus stop to be moved or for a reduction in the number of buses that stop there.

School Principal Thomas Lamorgese said that he and other school officials would like to lessen the congestion around the school and have been working with the East Hampton Village Police and the Town Disabilities Advisory Board to find a solution. Police have been working with the Suffolk County Department of Transit to either move the bus stop down the street, or to defer some buses to a new stop at the Long Island Rail Road station on Railroad Avenue.

“Our concern is really that when the bus is coming, letting off people, it seems to be right when kids are coming or going from school,” Mr. Lamorgese said. “We’re worried about kids getting hit by buses as the bus schedule corresponds with our schedule. We’re just trying to keep things safe.”

A total of 57 county buses and 24 school buses stop on Newtown Lane each day, according to data provided by the Village Police. Approximately 140 people use the county buses each day, and Village Police Chief Gerard Larsen said that the number of riders using the county buses has increased over the years. School buses drop off and pick up about 600 children at the school each day, and dozens of students are also crossing the street several times a day, directly in front of the bus stop, to go from the school to Herrick Park.

Village Police have proposed that the S-92 county bus, which comes from Greenport, could arrive and depart from the East Hampton train station just to the west on Railroad Avenue, via Toilsome Lane, which would reduce 17 buses from the Newtown Lane stop and “put a lot of the congestion of riders waiting to transfer between buses at the train station,” Chief Larsen said. The train station also provides bathroom facilities and a heated waiting room.

The problem with this solution is that a waiting period of sometimes up to an hour would be created to go between the train station and the village center. This wait time is especially troubling for disabled people.

“The Disabilities Advisory Board’s primary concern is the ability of disabled people to be able to access the town and the village without having to walk long distances,” said Glen Hall, the chairman of the town Disabilities Advisory Board. “Disabilities go way beyond people with crutches, walkers and wheelchairs. It’s also people who are getting older who would have a hard time carrying bags from Waldbaums.”

Mr. Hall said there has been no research done into the number of disabled people that use the buses.

Still, he added, “as a town resident, there seems to be a real problem. It’s not that great to have all those buses and all those people in that particular location.”

Chief Larsen has written a letter to the Suffolk County coordinator of bus scheduling, Kevin Darcy, to see if the schedules can be tweaked for the S-92 bus so they are more in sync with the schedule of the 10-B and 10-C buses.

“My personal hope is to have something in place by the start of next school year,” Chief Larsen said. “It depends if the county can get the wait time down.”

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The BIG QUESTION....HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY RIDING THESE COUNTY BUSES??? ALL I SEE ARE ALOT OF BUSES DRIVING AROUND AND NO PASSENGERS!!! THE EAST END OF LONG ISLAND DOES NOT NEED COUNTY BUSES! HOW MUCH MORE DO WE NEED TO SPEND MONEY ...USELESS!!
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on Mar 29, 09 5:51 PM
I would suggest you try to get a seat on a S92(Greenport to East Hampton) on any given workday during the morning and afternoon work commutes. It gets to be standing room only.
By RemembertheDucks (54), Eastport on Mar 30, 09 8:54 PM
WELL I UNDERSTAND THE BUSSES ON NEWTOWN LANE BLOCK THE INTERSECTION, BUT TAKING THEM AWAY PERIOD IS NOT THE ANSWER. I USED TO BE A BUS DRIVER FOR SUNRISE LINES AND HAMPTON JITNEY. MOST PEOPLE OWN CARS BUT THERE ARE SEVERAL HUNDREDS THAT STILL DO NOT. TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION EAST HAMPTON IS THE END OF THE LINE FOR THAT BUS. THROUGHOUT THE ROUTE IT GETS VERY VERY CROWDED FROM THE NORTH TO THE SOUTH FORK BELIEVE ME, JUST INCASE PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT ELIMINATING THEM. YOU AND I OWN CARS ...more
By khamoney (1), sag harbor on Mar 31, 09 1:50 PM
This move is very bad for bus riders. Now only the 10B and 10C serve the village, and they run very infrequently (once every 2 hours) compared to the S92. I still dont understand why the school felt transit buses, with highly experienced, trained drivers were a danger to the students. Perhaps it has more to do with subject people deny, discrimination. They (the school) didn't want their students coming in contact with people who take the bus, many of which are of lower income and of color.
Suffolk ...more
By PineBaron (10), Westbury on Sep 6, 09 10:41 PM