Southampton, state at odds over traffic lights

Posted: Updated:
SOUTHAMPTON -

The state has curbed a Southampton Town plan to try and alleviate some of the Hamptons' traffic nightmare.

The town tried changing the traffic light at Station Road and Montauk Highway in Water Mill to flash yellow during the morning rush.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman says it shaved up to 10 minutes off commute times through the congested area.

But the state Department of Transportation controls Route 27, and officials argued the change decreased safety for crossing pedestrians. 

So the DOT ordered the town to undo it.

The state's change also includes a push button for walkers to activate the light change, but some complain that it isn't very responsive.

"Definitely not working," Nurten Cileli said Tuesday afternoon. He added that he'd been waiting to cross for 10 minutes.

Schneiderman says the town will try to press the issue.

"We're gonna meet with the state," Schneiderman says. "We're gonna pitch it again."

The new pitch will include an offer to station a police officer at the intersection to help pedestrians cross.

And hopefully, he says, the state will agree before next spring.

"We feel it does make a big difference," he says. "So we're not giving up."

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