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Sep 21, 2018 3:59 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Traffic Plan In Place At Bridgehampton Intersection

Sep 24, 2018 1:50 PM

A new traffic pattern was implemented last week at the intersection of Millstone Road and Scuttle Hole Road in Bridgehampton in an effort to reduce traffic congestion in the area.

Engineers with Brookhaven-based L.K. McLean Associates removed the east- and west-bound stop signs along Scuttle Hole Road on Monday, September 17, and installed signs advising motorists that left-hand turns from intersecting Millstone Road are no longer permitted. Drivers looking to head east on Scuttle Hole Road from Millstone Road now must do so at Guyer Road, according to Thomas Neely, Southampton Town’s director of public transportation and traffic safety.

Mr. Neely said that the changes are in response to traffic backing up into the nearby traffic circle, which intersects with Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton. He also attributed the stop signs to several rear-end accidents, noting that when the roundabout was originally constructed approximately 10 years ago, the same engineers made a judgment call to install the two, now removed, stop signs, but after roughly a decade found them to be causing more harm than good.

Representatives of the engineering firm did not immediately return phone calls on Friday.

The Southampton Town Board unanimously approved the new traffic pattern on August 14 after a public hearing was held to discuss the proposal on June 26 at Southampton Town Hall. According to the resolutions, which were sponsored by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, removing the stop signs as well as prohibiting left turns from Millstone Road are “necessary to improve the orderly flow of traffic.”

“Half of all accidents occur at stop signs and traffic signals,” Mr. Neely said. “They don’t automatically make things safer.”

However, Amy Smith, who has lived on Millstone Road for 18 years, strongly disagrees. She said this week that the intersection is now “really dangerous.”

“It’s a mess over there now,” she said.

The concerned resident scoffed at Mr. Neely’s justification for the new traffic pattern, noting that traffic is congested throughout the Hamptons during the summer. “There’s no congestion here when the summer people are gone,” she argued.

In response, Mr. Neely said that the recommended changes—which were outlined in a traffic control plan dated December 29, 2017, and prepared by L.K. McLean Associates—will be closely monitored. He asked residents to be patient while motorists become acclimated to the new pattern.

“I know there are a couple of upset people,” he said. “Anytime we either put in a stop sign or remove stop signs, know that it’s supported by an engineering recommendation.”

To rebut Mr. Neely’s argument, Ms. Smith offered her own opinion on how to mitigate traffic:

“If you want to ease congestion in the Hamptons, you have to put a sign up that says, ‘Sorry, we’re full. Try again later.’”

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I am often mistaken but I believe the intersection of Millstone Road and Scuttlehole Road is in Bridgehampton. If I had to pinpoint the border between Watermill/Bridgehampton, it would be very close to The Car Doctor at 610 Scuttlehole. Hooray -- I've made another comment that accomplishes nothing while shirking more important tasks ; )
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Sep 24, 18 10:08 AM
No stop sign and no left hand turn on Millstone.... OK. This fixes the problem and creates the same problem again. There is a very high number of trucks turning to and from Millstone, there has to be a method to allow this. The stop sign was there to give Eastbound trucks an opportunity to make the left turn. Now Eastbound trucks have to fend for themselves and wait for an opportunity to make the left onto Guyer. That means a truck sitting in the only Eastbound lane, waiting to make a left, blocking ...more
By deelove (152), Bridgehampton on Sep 24, 18 11:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
Engineering recommendation??? The circle is a blunder from the start. There was not enough room from the start. Large trucks cannot make the turns there without running up on the island...
Can't put all that in that area. Engineering is a guess that WE pay for........
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Sep 24, 18 11:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
Yet another decision made by the Supervisor who only cares about speeding up traffic on the back roads with a total disregard for safety or logic.
By rv (38), watermill on Sep 24, 18 2:22 PM
Water Mill and Bridgehampton are divided by postal districts.
If you see mailboxes in front of houses, you’re in Water Mill.
Bridgehampton has no house delivery—
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Sep 24, 18 2:40 PM
Good for the Board for at least trying something to make our traffic better and safer. Too often our leaders recoil from people yelling at them and are afraid to try. We pay these politicians to make decisions and they made a decision.
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on Sep 24, 18 5:58 PM
Now I know what happened to the signs. Very disconcerting to approach the east bound non existent stop sign on Scuttle hole. I stopped out of habit. Most likely I will continue to slow down. Making a left onto and a right out of Millstone will once again be very difficult. Making a left into the farm stand will also be difficult. A heads up was warranted.
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Sep 25, 18 9:44 AM
Left turns onto Millstone are prohibited. Left turns from Guyer Road only. Guyer road is also the safest way to access the farm stand.
By Arnold Timer (327), Sag Harbor on Oct 1, 18 4:56 PM
i have seen cars backing up in the circle especially during the summer and if someone is at the stop sign too long. BUT WE NEED TO STOP DEVELOPMENT the east end.
By rvs (106), sag harbor on Sep 25, 18 11:55 PM
I remember when the traffic circle was installed, and I thought Great, that should help with the flow of traffic...And then I groaned as soon as the added those stops signs shortly afterwards...It completely negated the point of the traffic circle! It's not just the summer people that cause backups on the back roads...Anyone who has to commute between Southampton/Water Mill (or points further west) and East Hampton/Sag Harbor, or anyone who uses those roads to get their kids to school know, there ...more
By TheWaterMillian (34), Water Mill on Sep 26, 18 11:35 AM
1 member liked this comment