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Apr 10, 2013 10:27 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Gregor Proceeding With Noyac Project Despite Official Roadblocks

Apr 10, 2013 11:13 AM

Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor has begun soliciting bids for paving and construction work for a planned redesign of Noyac Road at Cromer’s Market, despite the Town Board having rejected his proposal for bid requests last month and voicing nearly unanimous opposition to his proceeding with the work as planned.

Mr. Gregor said that he plans to continue seeking bids for the paving, concrete and drainage work required for the project, which will separate the parking lot that serves Cromer’s and the Whalebone General Store from Noyac Road, even though neighborhood residents have objected to those plans.

“I’m doing my job—I’m making the roads safe,” Mr. Gregor said. “The town has been working on this project for 12 years. There’s a dangerous situation there, tens of thousands of vehicles go by there every day, it needs to be addressed.”

With two dozen Noyac residents in the audience at a Town Board meeting last month, all five board members spoke against proceeding with the project and then rejected a resolution that would have authorized the Town Attorney’s office to put out an official request for bids on the project. Rather than voting against the resolution, the board killed it by failing to second it and bring it to a vote.

Mr. Gregor’s position allows him to do the bidding himself, but he will still need the Town Board to approve the acceptance of the bids. The highway superintendent said that he hoped board members would see the project in a different light by the time such a proposal comes before them.

“I thought they were abducted by aliens and those were just clones sitting in those chairs when they failed to even vote on the bids,” he quipped of the initial inaction by the board. “I’m hoping that the alien spaceship comes back and returns the Town Board members to earth.”

The project calls for a concrete curb to be inserted between the parking lot and the roadway, preventing cars from pulling out of parking spots and directly into the busy road. Vehicles leaving the western end of the parking lot will be forced to turn down Bay Avenue and circle around to come back up Elm Street, rather than pulling directly onto Noyac Road. Residents have worried the plan will cause a glut of traffic in the neighborhood of about two dozen homes.

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who lives less than a mile from the project area, lamented that the highway superintendent was proceeding with the bidding in spite of the Town Board’s dissatisfaction with the design.

“He has the legal authority to do it on his own and that is what he’s doing,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “That doesn’t change the fact that we would still have to approve the bids, so there is that opportunity for us to weigh in still. I would have hoped the highway superintendent would be willing to take another look at this and consider the phased approach we’ve asked for.”

Board members have asked Mr. Gregor to try a handful of less drastic measures to slow traffic approaching the parking lot such as rumble strips and warning signs before resorting to the re-routing of the two residential streets. Mr. Gregor, in turn, has insisted that state engineers and traffic experts have said that such measures would have no effect. The only alternative that offered a chance of avoiding the re-routing of Bay Avenue and Elm Street, he said, was one that called for the town to purchase the tiny, undevelopable triangle of land that divides Bay and Elm, allowing the traffic from the lot to cross directly onto Elm Street to get back onto Noyac Road rather than travel down Bay Avenue. The property is owned by the Heinz family, which also owns the Whalebone but has refused to sell it to the town.

Nonetheless, Mr. Gregor dismissed the doomsday predictions of the neighborhood residents. The vast majority of the traffic coming from the parking lot, he said, will simply exit out the eastern end of the parking lot and pull directly onto Noyac Road, rather than going to the western end and looping through the residential neighborhood.

“People will take the path of least resistance,” he said.

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Its time to do something about that strip of the road--and the whole Noyac hamlet corridor. I like the idea of blocking off the road from the parking lot. But I would not allow any entrances or exits directly onto the road to avoid the problem described by Gregor about the people exiting on the "eastern" end. The people going into Cromer's are also dangerous as those that coming out. Make them all enter through the Western end, on Bay Av., and force them to loop around the back of the store and ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Apr 10, 13 11:37 AM
This area is in serious need of attention - Alex is right. The only people objecting are the store owners, who could care less about their patrons. There are truck bodies behind Cromers, vehicles blocking Cedar to the east, and cars parking on the front lawn of the house behind Cromers. There's vacant land behind these stores. There should be a rear parking lot - in via Cedar, out via Bay. Close off Elm. End of story.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Apr 10, 13 1:25 PM
> "the store owners, who could care less about their patrons"

That's absurd! Do you even think about how irrational you sound before you post something like that?

Patrons (customers) are the life's blood of any business, so of course the care about them!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Apr 10, 13 2:21 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By sagharborparent (30), sag harbor on Apr 11, 13 6:41 AM
If I owned a store where there were a multitude of accidents, I would make some immediate changes so my customers didn't get killed. Like BEG the Town to make the area safer. Fully support widening & moving the road. Clean out my rear parking lot of garbage so folks could park back there & not along Noyac Road. GIVE the Town a useless lot I owned to help with traffic circulation. These owners refuse to help. So, yes, they could care less about their patrons. Folks will continue to stop here ...more
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Apr 11, 13 9:00 AM
Guess there freedom of speech is not allowed. But what I said earlier I did say to his face. Just for the record. All tha accidents that happened by both of the stores where dwi's Lucky Mr. Choylix only killed himself and no innocent person, and the other drunk who crashed into the whale bone luckly only injured himself and no one else. So all of us whiney residents dont want all the speeding Morons in our neighborhood
By sagharborparent (30), sag harbor on Apr 11, 13 12:19 PM
Freedom of Speech has nothing to do with a privately owned newspaper. That freedom protects you from persecution for your words by the government, not 27east
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Apr 16, 13 10:08 AM
The automatic radar speed indicator machines further down Noyac Road do a pretty good job of slowing the traffic down.

Why haven't these been tried near Cromers?

Why hasn't the speed limit been lowered to 20-25 MPH? And fines raised for this zone, similar to a school zone?

Why haven't larger speed limit signs been posted from Long Beach all the way to Trout Pond?

Plus some MAJOR enforcement and heavy fines. All Town vehicles traveling this stretch should be made ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 10, 13 9:07 PM
Holy Crabbie Patties Squidward !! An elected official (Gregor) is actually going ahead and doing the sensible thing and fixing an unsafe road despite a group of whiney residents and a simpering town board ??!!?? Good for you Alex- take a stand, speak your mind, and act. Do I hear a "second"?
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Apr 10, 13 9:42 PM
Straighten the road, which means moving it south. That will provide space to put in curbs and sidewalks with only approved curb cuts to keep people from entering and exiting the parking area wherever they please. Keep Bay Avenue open and either dead end Elm before Noyac Rd or have it connect into Bay if that can be done far enough north of the Noyac Rd intersection.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Apr 11, 13 12:48 AM
Somebody gets a bright idea and now residents have to put up with Cromer's traffic. Let Mr. Cromer buy the place next door and use it for more parking. His store, let him fix the problem. And 'tens of thousands of cars"????
By Sandflea (35), Southampton on Apr 11, 13 7:38 AM
Sensible to fix the problem by funneling traffic into a safe neighborhood and making it unsafe?! Does anyone see that he's advocating breaking the law with that last statement of "path of least resistant", he's actually talking about making an illegal turn, we confirmed this in our last meeting. Board members and community members are making sensible objections and advocating a SAFE solution by using an earlier plan, he's resorting to name calling and misrepresenting the issues because his window ...more
By susanb (2), SAG HARBOR on Apr 11, 13 1:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Gregor is an elected official who does the right thing.
Go Alex!
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Apr 11, 13 6:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
Not much work will get done without the Town Board approving the funding, will it?

Seems like a turf war IMO, and Mr. Gregor's rhetoric would seem to support this view:

"I’m hoping that the alien spaceship comes back and returns the Town Board members to earth.”

Great sense of humor, but short on tact IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 11, 13 6:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Can someone tell me how the resolution that no one voted on actually got before the Board? Just wondering if the SOH in SH has the power, indpendant of the Board, to do that? I don't know if that's ever been done in EH ...
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Apr 11, 13 7:06 PM
We all know that Noyac Rd. was not designed for the traffic that is now flowing through it. The approach heading east towards Cromers is plain & simply dangerous. So let's fix it. As a town, of seemingly smart residents, lets fix it. If we can't do this simple adjustment to a dangerous roadway, what can we do?

Work together, fix it for our kids our guests and for us.
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on Apr 11, 13 9:05 PM
Simple fixes for now -- quick and inexpensive -- for this summer ASAP:

-- lower speed limit from Long Beach to Trout Pond with higher fines
-- larger signs and radar reading speed digital displays
-- REAL enforcement with radar traps (and posted warnings of such)
-- assign Officer Manny Quinn to each end of the bad stretch by P. J. Dowlings and just east of Cromers
-- all town vehicles and all PD's to drive at (new lower) posted speeds with flashers on

These steps ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 12, 13 6:41 AM
PS -- a new citizens group could help with this:

FLASHERS UNITED !!!

Motto: "No clothes calls at Cromers!"

If every vehicle had their emergency flashers on between Trout Pond and Long Beach, AND drove 25 MPH, "we the people" could turn this thing around in a heartbeat.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 12, 13 6:46 AM
I'll get my raincoat out of the closet
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Apr 13, 13 6:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
What's not mentioned in this article is that the Town Board paid for (with your tax dollars) a traffic plan & received several from qualified engineers. Why did we waste all that money if we're not going to listen to experts? Who knows more about road safety - Alex & professional engineers, or a broker & food store owner? It was the Town Board who proposed the "round-about" on Scuttle Hole Road. Try getting around that one with a horse trailer!
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Apr 12, 13 9:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Because we live in a Democracy, not a Technocracy. Peoples opinions matter Ms. Jane Q. Public.
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on Apr 16, 13 2:39 PM
Go for it Alex get the bids in and perhaps the contractors will do the job as a favour to you or you could pay for it from your own pocket,,,,oh what is the policy on the spring clean up........I will be 72.5 next month will you send a crew to clean up for me?.
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on Apr 12, 13 4:40 PM
Alex is an expert on road work? lol Alex is a antagonist who thinks he has no one to answer to. Why don't you check his work history at the town garage. Town government employs the unemployable.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Apr 12, 13 8:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Mr. Gregor should be fired. Who does he think he is with going forward with a plan not approved by Town officials? Let him wate his resources obtaining bids that will only be rejected by the Town Board. If he allows even on shovel of dirt to be removed, then straight to jail he should go.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Apr 15, 13 1:14 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sadly, this is really about Alex vs ATH and the Town Board and not the road in Noyac. Just more Town government dysfunction.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Apr 15, 13 8:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Time to vote ATH out of office
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Apr 16, 13 10:09 AM