On May 27, the East Hampton Town Board voted unanimously to solve the horrendous traffic problem observed over each Memorial Day Weekend by creating more Hamptons. As a result, the number of Hamptons villages and hamlets will increase from the current 20 to 35. The new ones will be at the western end of Suffolk County so motorists can get to one of the new Hamptons before they get to the old ones further east which are, frankly, full up.
The new Hamptons will come into being in two ways. One way is to put new Hamptons in Brookhaven farm fields. These should be ready by the summer season of 2022.
An immediate way to create new Hamptons was approved, however. The existing towns in the west end of the county will voluntarily become Hamptons simply by changing their names. Smithtown will be renamed Smith Hampton. Mastic will become Sunrise Hamptons and Calverton will become Hampton Farms. Other villages approved for this change by the Hampton Council include Center Moriches, East Moriches, Patchogue, Medford, Yaphank, Miller Place, Manorville, Shirley, Holbrook, Bohemia, Sayville and Ronkonkoma. Urged on by their chambers of commerce, representatives of all these communities attended this meeting as guests and agreed to immediately make the change. The 11 new villages of Hampton Cliffs, Hampton Roads, Hampton Valley, Hampton Flats, Hampton by the Bay, Whale Ho Hampton, Surf Hampton, Hampton by the Fencepost, Literary Hampton, Art Hampton and Hampton Wind respectively will have the change in place by the Fourth of July weekend this year. With this approval, sign painters can now work furiously creating signs along the Long Island Expressway beginning at Exit 60 indicating the new names of these communities.
With this in place, it is expected that as many as 1 million new carloads of eastbound people per day will exit the Long Island Expressway earlier and spend their days in the new group of Hamptons, thus relieving the traffic pressure on the real Hamptons farther east.
Of course, nothing happens at these Hampton town board meetings without some sort of cost. And it took nearly five hours of discussion to figure out ways to pay for this.
The new Hamptons being built in empty fields will be constructed by building contractors receiving part of President Biden’s new $2 trillion infrastructure spending bundle.
The existing towns taking on the Hamptons name will pay between $10 and $15 million as a one-time charge to the cluster of village and town governments in the old Hamptons. In exchange, the four largest communities changing their names will be the recipients of four of the five 19th-century wooden windmills that currently stand in East Hampton Town. All the other new communities will receive replica windmills created to be duplicates of the four being moved, with minor details changed so as to give surface individuality.
Representatives of the “new” Hamptons fought long and hard to get these windmills, both real and fake. One at a time, they insisted they couldn’t be a Hampton unless they had a windmill, either in their community or in an adjacent community.
For a long time during this extended meeting, the holdup was from the representatives from East Hampton who were reluctant to give up four of the five windmills in that town. (The East Hampton windmills are at Wainscott in the Georgica Association, at the east end of Main Street at Hook Mill, at the west end of Main Street at Home Sweet Home, at the former Gardiner property at the cemetery and on Gardiners Island on the shoreline facing Springs.) So the outcome hinged on the cooperation of the Town of East Hampton.
The meeting got pretty rowdy for a half-hour during which the representatives from East Hampton had to survive being called a bunch of names including “hog,” “spoilsport” and “Democrat,” but in the end, after realizing that the weekend was approaching and horrendous traffic was once again building, they realized they might not even be able to get home at the end of the meeting, and so finally, they gave way and reluctantly agreed that Wainscott, Gardiners Island, Gardiner and Home Sweet Home would have to go and they could keep the Hook Mill on the triangle in the very center of town.
A few other matters were dealt with quickly after the applause died down with this main agreement.
It was decided that the two-year-old left-turn hat program, where motorists pay $150 to obtain and wear a red baseball cap with the letter “L” on it so motorists without the hats will give way when the hat wearer signals a left turn, was a complete failure and these hats should be rounded up and burned in a bonfire.
A proposal by Shelter Island officials was passed, stating that the Island should never be considered a Hampton. The Island’s mill is on the Sylvester Manor property.
And the new parking regulations going into effect beginning on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, where motorists in East Hampton and Sag Harbor Village can park only by registering a parking space on an app was officially approved.
Also approved for discussion at the next council meeting next week is a proposal to consider renaming “North Fork” as “Hamptons Fork.” The communities of Aquebogue, Greenport, East Marion, Orient and Southold are in favor. But New Suffolk, Cutchogue, Mattituck, Northville and Nassau Point either oppose or are on the fence.
Also on the agenda for the next meeting is a proposal to change the name of Sunrise Highway to Sunset Highway, which will thus encourage motorists to consider driving west back to the city rather than east to the sunrise and Montauk.
Thus the meeting ended and everyone rushed out to their cars.