Sag Harbor Considers John Steinbeck Memorial Pothole Solutions

Render of the John Steinbeck Memorial Pothole with resin filler
Render of the John Steinbeck Memorial Pothole with resin filler, Photo: Christian Delbert/123RF

The stalemate in Sag Harbor between protestors protecting a Madison Street pothole they claim John Steinbeck once wrote about, and Hamptons Police Department officers enforcing an order to fill that pothole, may be over soon. Several solutions are on the table, thanks to a series of smart suggestions from levelheaded locals, and it seems the only hurdle left is to decide which suggestion to follow.

Among the ideas under consideration, Hamptons Municipal Board and Hamptons Community Action Council (CAC) members are discussing whether to remove the pothole entirely and relocate it to the Museum of Sag Harbor History or the former home of John Steinbeck, or to simply fill the pothole with clear resin, retaining its look and presence at the site while also making it safe for drivers. Both options would include the proposed “John Steinbeck Memorial Pothole” plaque, which was recently designed to accompany the pothole on Madison Street.

This fight began back in 2014 when the same CAC organization held repair crews off from the historic pothole for three weeks, until the Board finally gave in to their demands and let the hole stand. The newly determined Municipal Board returned to the fight last week, but things became even more heated after the Steinbeck claims, which assert that the vaunted author complained about the pothole in an early draft of his classic 1962 novel Travels with Charley.

The solutions now under discussion would bring the ugly matter to a peaceful solution to what might otherwise have ended in a violent and controversial clash. Local police said they would eventually take the pothole by force, but cooler heads have prevailed.

Both groups have asked the public to weigh in on the poured resin or relocation solution at a special Hamptons Municipal Board work session next week, but they’re also taking votes via social media. Residents of Sag Harbor can make their voice heard on this issue in the comments below or through related posts on all Dan’s Papers social media platforms.

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