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East Hampton Town board enacts bus, van ban on highway

Lifeguards at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett clear

Lifeguards at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett clear debris washed ashore from heavy surf caused by Hurricane Earl in 2010. (Sept. 4, 2010) (Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Responding to complaints last year about drunken parties and large crowds at the beach in Amagansett, the East Hampton Town board has banned buses and vans with a capacity of eight passengers or more from Indian Wells Highway. The board also prohibited parking on two nearby streets, Southview Road and Further Court.

More than a dozen local residents praised the board Thursday night for its vote. “It’s a very good first step,” said Judy Samuelson, of Amagansett. “We should use social media to get the word out before we start turning away buses.”

Luke Weinstock, of Springs, said he applauded what he called “this small measure,” but added that the crowds at the popular ocean beach are ruining preserved lands. “There’s a lot of erosion ... paths worn by people going into the dunes to go to the bathroom,” he said. “It feels like Daytona Beach there.” He now goes to a different beach, he said.

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People living in small East End communities such as Amagansett treasure their beaches, but they also are sought out by people who sometimes learn of a party because they are told a flash mob will be forming.

The town’s action bans vehicles weighing 4 tons or more — including vans carrying eight passengers — from Indian Wells Highway from a point 175 feet south of Bluff Road to its end, and eliminates parking on both sides of Southview Road and Further Court from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

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