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Supervisor Jay Schneiderman announced at yesterday’s Work Session that he is working with Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki to implement a pilot program to test the benefits of setting key traffic lights along major thoroughfares to blinking yellow on weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
The Supervisor has asked for a one-week test at six critical intersections in the Town, to be implemented as soon as permission is granted by both Suffolk County and NY State highway officials. Chief Skrynecki is in the process of seeking these approvals. The pilot intersections are:
Backlogs caused by the trade traffic have been clogging residential back roads, infuriating local residents living in once-quiet neighborhoods. In an effort to keep traffic on main arteries, the Supervisor believes that expediting traffic flow in the early morning hours could relieve pressure on the residential side roads. “We need to get the traffic to stay on the main highways and not impact our residential streets”, noted Schneiderman. He has requested the implementation of the blinking light program at the earliest date possible. A similar program was implemented successfully during the 2004 U.S. Open as well as during the CR 39 traffic cone program in 2007.
Police Chief Skrynecki stated, “We are hopeful that changing the referenced traffic signal lights from their normal function to blinking in all directions early in the morning (5am-7am) will enable traffic on the main roads to better flow eastbound to work destinations, reducing morning bypass traffic on secondary roads. If we are granted State and County approval for the trial, we will monitor the intersections to ensure the changes poses no safety risks.”
The Supervisor is also committed to looking at the big picture of traffic flow. He has called for the creation of a solution-oriented task force in order to develop a set of ideas to reduce traffic congestion Town-wide. This group will include representatives from NY State and Suffolk County highway departments, Southampton Police, the Town’s Engineering Department, Highway Department, Public Safety Department, and the Transportation Commission. A public forum will be scheduled to solicit citizen suggestions on how to improve traffic flow.
Further announcements will be made when the exact dates of the pilot program are set, and when the task force convenes.