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Jun 9, 2009 7:34 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Town wants to outlaw jake braking at village boundaries

Jun 9, 2009 7:34 PM

When East Hampton Village banned trucks that weighed more than 18,000 pounds from most village roads in 2003, those vehicles began taking a circuitous route to bypass the village. Now, residents living along the streets those trucks use are demanding that something be done about the loud, machine-gun-like popping sounds when trucks use brakes that rely on the release of compression from the engines to help provide their power.

The town plans now to ban the use of those brakes on portions of Cedar Street, Stephen Hands Path, Buckskill Road and Green Hollow Road, where Town Supervisor Bill McGintee has said that many residents have been bothered by the noise.

Though Mr. McGintee said that many municipalities have signs banning “Jake Brakes,” which is a trademark for brakes made by Jacobs Vehicle Systems that use engine compression, the company’s website claims that the real cause of the loud noise associated with Jake Brakes is faulty muffler systems.

The manufacturer touts the improved safety of the system and states that most customer complaints arise from trucks that have “straight stack” exhaust systems that actually have no mufflers, which produce noise that is 16 to 22 decibels higher than factory-installed mufflers.

The manufacturer urges residents to insist that local police inspect trucks for faulty muffler systems before calling for a ban on their product.

The situation in East Hampton arose after the village six years ago banned large truck traffic on most village streets, including Newtown Lane, Railroad Avenue, Gingerbread Lane, Toilsome Lane, Race Lane and other streets that make their way around the village center. Trucks can still travel down Montauk Highway.

“Trucks were using residential streets as bypasses,” said Village Administrator Larry Cantwell this week. “The village wanted to prohibit very large trucks from residential streets, but local delivery can use those streets.”

Because of the low height of Long Island Rail Road trestles on many other roads surrounding the village, the route proposed for the ban is where nearly all of the town’s trucks are routed if they are not travelling a direct route down Montauk Highway.

East Hampton Town has not yet set a date for the public hearing on the Jake Brake ban, though the law has already been drafted.

Some Town Board members were concerned that the use of Jake Brakes could save the life of a child who runs out in front of a large truck, although Supervisor McGintee said that he doubted the police would write a ticket for a driver who used his brakes to save a child’s life.

“Let me know when we’re having the public hearing. I’m staying home. No good deed goes unpunished,” said Councilman Brad Loewen at a recent Town Board meeting.

Mr. Loewen recently introduced another local law that sought to regulate dockside boat engine fueling from trucks that drew over an hour of passionate testimony from industry leaders, leading the board to shelve the idea.

“Almost every large truck goes down Cedar Street, Stephen Hands Path and Buckskill Road,” said Supervisor McGintee. “Trucks have to flow, they don’t have to Jake Brake on Cedar Street. I don’t think this is an unreasonable request. We’re forced into this. East Hampton Village forced the traffic there.”

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Next they wll complain that the trucks engines are too loud. What will be next after that? Banning trucks? This is ridiculous and people forget that these trucks are the ones deivering them their packages and hauling in their food to supermarkets. Also these trucks are bringing good so they can SHOP! Jake brakes help a truck and truck driver so much. Instead of having to wear out the brakes on the truck from trying to stop a heavy load, the jake brake allows the truck to slow down without using ...more
By courtesy (43), Southampton on Jun 10, 09 10:06 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Jun 12, 09 2:40 PM
Ha-Ha-Ha, no jake brakes, no gas, food, lmber. Maybe we can fly it in on our Gulfstream, Buffy. Then transfer to our Prius.
By BlackDog (47), East Hampton on Jun 16, 09 1:00 PM
> Next they wll complain that the trucks engines are too loud

Actually that is their complaint - I doubt anyone has a problem with "Jake Braking" per se, but the resulting LOUDNESS of using it. Now the article states that with a proper exhaust system, Jake braking isn't jarringly loud. So there's the real problem, trucks with shoddy exhaust system. Courtesy your argument is invalid - If my newspaper delivery person screamed at the top of his lungs every time he dropped off my newspaper ...more
By jimbo (1), Southhampton on Sep 11, 09 7:19 AM