Dan Rattiner's Stories

East Hampton Street Fair Ignites Old Idea

The Village of East Hampton shut down auto traffic on Newtown Lane for a street fair last Saturday. I don’t know if anybody remembers this, but about 15 years ago the village hired a town-planning outfit to propose new ways of looking at the traffic patterns downtown, and they came up with the idea of shutting down Newtown Lane to auto traffic permanently.

It is an intriguing idea. The proposal called for a new road in the back of downtown that would run along the south side of the railroad track connecting North Main Street to Railroad Avenue where Newtown Lane crosses it. Auto traffic would approach only as far as the middle school.

I don’t remember any real details, but making Newtown Lane a pedestrian walkway only for a short distance up from Main Street would result in no traffic light whatsoever at Main and Newtown Lane, except for pedestrians crossing the street. That’s how it was last Saturday. It would also link Reutershan Park with the middle school.

On paper, it looked pretty neat. I wonder if that proposal is buried in some filing cabinet at Village Hall. Might even be online. It was from about 2000.

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