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Feb 9, 2012 2:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Noyac Road Repairs Are Still Subject Of Debate

Feb 15, 2012 10:38 AM

Proposed repairs to a dangerous section of Noyac Road in Noyac were once again the subject of a Southampton Town Board work session on Friday, and Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor begged the board to take action before tragedy strikes.

“People have asked me to do something,” Mr. Gregor said. “This is a high-traffic volume area. It’s not 1950 anymore.”

The board met last week with Mr. Gregor and project consultant Raymond DiBiase, executive vice president of L.K. McLean Associates, PC, in Brookhaven hamlet, to discuss the future of several proposals to alter a treacherous stretch of Noyac Road, near Cromer’s Market, a project that has been on the town’s radar for the past seven years. The plan, which has been through a number of revisions, is expected to cost approximately $480,000.

Mr. DiBiase led the board through a time line of recent events on Friday, beginning with a Noyac hamlet study in 2003 and including various reiterations of the plans.

“We have to talk about traffic calming,” Mr. Gregor said, explaining that most of the plans were consistent in their similar call for some kind of curbing and median that would serve to segregate the parking area for Cromer’s and other nearby businesses from the road. “Right now, there’s uncontrolled parking and traffic,” Mr. Gregor said.

He added that, most notably in the summer, drivers bypass Montauk Highway and speed along Noyac Road. Truck traffic is also an issue, Mr. Gregor said.

His most recent plan involves realigning Noyac Road and creating medians and several left turn lanes that, he said, would mitigate the potentially dangerous traffic situation. Curbing would be created to frame the Cromer’s and Whalebone General Store parking lot to prevent cars from backing out of spaces and directly onto Noyac Road.

One version of the plan that Mr. Gregor has presented would require the town to purchase a triangle-shaped piece of land just west of the Whalebone, where the ends of two roads—Bay Avenue and Elm Street—could be merged to create more parking spaces. The property owners and some other residents have opposed that plan.

Of the current version, Mr. Gregor said he believes that it is the best plan to improve safety. “Safety is the most important thing,” he said. “We haven’t done this in a vacuum.”

Southampton Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming assured a large group of community members who turned out to observe Friday’s work session that despite the rumors they might have heard, the funding for the capital project was in place.

Ms. Fleming said some confusion may have stemmed from a work session last August when Mr. Gregor asked the board to release the $480,000 earmarked for the project so he could pave roads. He made that request after stating at the time that the Noyac Road project was not likely to begin anytime soon. In spite of allocating some money for paving, Ms. Fleming assured those in attendance that the board is still committed to moving forward with the Noyac Road project.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst confirmed that the money for the project was still in place. “It’s in the budget,” she said.

Before the work session, Spokespeople of Eastern Long Island, a cycling advocacy group that works to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians, sent an email to board members warning that the future of the project could be in jeopardy. According to Mike Bottini, a member of the organization who writes an outdoors column for The Southampton Press, Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi was rumored to be considering defunding improvements to the dangerous curve on Noyac Road—the site of 30 accidents since 2008.

“That’s untrue,” Mr. Nuzzi said this week. “I don’t know where this originates from, but I remain strongly in support of that project—as I have been since the beginning.”

Mr. Nuzzi was one of the individuals who originally advocated for an immediate road reconfiguration, stressing the urgent need for timely repairs.

Mr. Bottini stressed the need for action. “A number of our members have had near-misses on that curve,” he said.

But some local business owners who were not allowed to speak at last week’s work session said after the meeting that they think the improvements could sound the death knell for their businesses. They were invited to express their thoughts at a future Town Board meeting.

Linda Heine, who owns the Whalebone with her husband, George, said she thinks Mr. Gregor’s plan is too oppressive and the accidents cited, including one in 2009 where an intoxicated driver crashed into her store, were caused by a number of factors, including alcohol and substance abuse. “It’s overkill,” she said of the present plan.

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Anna and Alex in the same room this should make some great viewing,I am going to get there early to get a good seat,I might even ask a question about the LEAVE collection program,what is Alex going to do with all the money he saved now that he and his merry men and women have been relieved of providing this service and no snow to plough this year,the crews will be well rested for the Spring season.They deservce a rest,
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on Feb 9, 12 6:36 PM
Sorry typo should be leaf collection
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on Feb 9, 12 7:05 PM
I got a very easy solution to the problem. Start by Burkshire commons and
put some speed bumps down and and the other end by Anna's house put in some speed bumps and it will slow the traffic down. What the morons in charge want to do is ruin Pine Neck by having the traffic go thru there. These
elected officical are self serving morons that only have themselves and thier agendas in mind. Also just wondering why Anna gets to bring a town car home, Is that included in her job, are tax payers ...more
By sagharborparent (30), sag harbor on Feb 22, 12 9:58 AM