Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman stated in a recorded interview with Newsday that the Hamptons “has seen through the years more and more traffic on a very limited highway system.” This is largely due to the fact that “the workforce has been priced out of the housing market” and workers are required to live further west and make a long east-bound commute in the morning.
To alleviate some of the traffic, the town has tested changing a traffic light to a blinking yellow light during the morning commute, located at the intersection of Montauk Highway and Station Road in Water Mill, reports Newsday. After testing the light, a typically 16- to 20-minute commute was said to have dropped to an eight-minute drive.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to early-morning Hamptons traffic. In addition to a higher summer population, Schneiderman noted that there are many work trucks on the road in the morning during this time of year, and heavy trucks take a longer time to get moving after coming to a full stop or slowing down.
Traffic on Montauk Highway also slows when it changes from a two-lane highway to a single-lane road passing into Water Mill from Southampton. The intersection of Montauk Highway and Station Road where the blinking light could be implemented is about a mile and a half east of where Montauk Highway becomes a single lane.
The traffic light change hasn’t been approved by the Department of Transportation quite yet, but if it does go into effect, it will likely be a blinking light from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. through the month of July, which is the Hamptons’s rush hour.
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