At some point of time in your life, if you live, work or visit the East End, chances are you’ve been caught in traffic on County Road 39.
Well for those of you that make the morning commute to the Hamptons regularly, the Town of Southampton is hoping to make your drive a little bit better. Commuters whose route travels through Southampton have voiced frustration that the stretch along County Road 39 typically adds 45 to 60 minutes to their drive, especially when the “trade parade” comes to the East End between March and June, as the race to complete job sites for the summer begins. The Town plans to address those concerns with a trial program this spring along County Road 39 that will test a new traffic pattern.
The pilot program will take place on Tuesday, April 19th, Wednesday, April 20th and Thursday, April 21st between 6 and 9 a.m. During which, the traffic light at the intersection of Tuckahoe Road and County Road 39 will be replaced with a blinking light. Traffic heading south on Tuckahoe Road will be unable to turn left from Tuckahoe Road onto County Road 39, while traffic traveling north on Tuckahoe Road will be unable to turn left onto County Road 39. The pilot will also ban traffic on Tuckahoe Road from crossing County Road 39.
County traffic engineers think that by altering the traffic light from a stop light to a caution light, the program may reduce stop and go traffic patterns along County Road 39, which could significantly reduce traffic. The initial test will help engineers assess the situation and determine if a more permanent change could alleviate some of the morning congestion along County Road 39.
“If we can cut at least ten minutes off a morning commute it may be worth it,” noted Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.
The pilot program was approved by the Southampton Town Board at its March 22nd. The Town will work along with the County during the trial, with the goal of alleviating traffic issues during the morning commute.