County Executive Steve Bellone signed legislation at a special event at East Hampton Town Hall Friday, October 11, earmarking the first $400,000 to jumpstart funding toward a project along Edgemere Street in Montauk that will create dedicated biker and pedestrian paths connecting the downtown area of the hamlet with the train station.
The paths are, in part, a fruition of the town’s Montauk hamlet study. Bellone said the legislation was an example of the county working arm-in-arm with the local community. He added it’s important to enable hikers and bikers alike to travel safely. The town, Bellone said, deserved the starter money, after the town board and community paved the way for the project.
Legislator Bridget Fleming was also on hand for the signing. She called the grant “very significant” and called Montauk a regional “economic driver.” She said it’s also one way of local government showing it knows “what makes the character of the community sustainable and important.”
People will be able to get off the train and on their bikes, instead of getting into cars, she said.
“This is something that Montauk wanted for some time,” said East Hampton town board member Sylvia Overby, who is the liaison for the board to Montauk. “They need that connectivity.”
Overby added the project will also help first responders coming from the Montauk Fire Department opposite the train station. For years, the pedestrian traffic that spills onto the roadway has been a concern for EMT crews leaving the fire house.