Change Coming For Roundabout?

Southampton Town officials are considering putting the brakes on a pair of stop signs near the roundabout on Scuttlehole Road and Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton.

The stop signs, which were installed in 2008 as part of a traffic-calming project to address safety along the hamlet’s back roads, cause motorists to stop after coming out of the roundabout, which causes traffic to back up, according to town officials.

Southampton Town Director of Transportation and Public Safety Tom Neely said there has been some questioning as to whether two stop signs, just east of the roundabout where Millstone Road intersects Scuttlehole Road, are really necessary. The engineer who installed them said that it would be okay to take them out because it would keep the traffic flowing a little better, according to Neely. Additionally, town police have taken note of a “couple” of rear-end accidents there, which probably resulted from people stopping at the stop sign, he said.

A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 26, to take input on whether the stop signs are really needed there, if they are causing congestion, and if they are a benefit to the area. If the stop signs are removed, motorists will not be able to drive down Millstone Road and make a left out, they’d have to come down Guyer Road and make a left onto Scuttlehole instead, Neely said.

“That was a really bad intersection. I think that there was some question that those [stop signs] absolutely needed to be there where they were first put in, now the police find it does back up into the roundabout sometimes,” he said.

A second stop sign, where Millstone Road meets Scuttlehole Road, will remain, according to Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

“If you are looking down Millstone, heading south on Millstone, you will have a stop sign, but there won’t be a stop sign on Scuttlehole Road at Millstone; that will be just be a through [street] like all the other streets,” he said.

The town is also considering changing the traffic signals to blinking lights along Montauk Highway at Tuckahoe Road near Stony Brook Southampton College, as well as Montauk Highway in Water Mill. The signals would be blocked in the early morning from 6 AM to 8 PM, and only in the run up to the summer, toward the end of June, as part of a pilot program, according to Schneiderman.

“We are just testing right now to see what difference it makes to traffic flow. All indications are those two lights together will take about 20 minutes off the commute. It’s significant, so we are just trying to get better data,” he said. “It’s just a pilot program right now. We are just testing the concept.”

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