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East End traffic means always planning for extra time

Photo Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Sofia Zhiminaicela, Hampton Bays

Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean that life will go back to normal for us on the East End. It’s still September, and a lot of things stay the same. One of these things is traffic.

The traffic out here was horrible in July and August, and it still is now. Just a few weeks ago I was going to the Nike store in Riverhead, and the line of cars stretched for miles. That isn’t an exaggeration. And people may have just moved out to the East End for school, and this traffic is no joke.

But there are some secret roads to avoid traffic, and there are some major roads to avoid. We know there are going to be crowds for the farmstands and other great places to visit out here. We also know that we have to plan for extra driving time.

Most roads are crowded over the summer, but about 50 percent of those roads are now a little more open. That still leaves the other 50 percent clogged with traffic. One road that can get a lot of traffic in a short amount of time is Route 27. The main route from Manorville to Montauk always is crowded, and it is horrific from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Once, it took my cousin 20 minutes to travel 3 miles on a Jitney bus, a transportation service from Montauk to New York City.

One thing that is really annoying is the bottleneck, which happens in Manorville on Sunrise Highway. These are areas where you can go 55 miles per hour, and then the highway will turn into a one- or two-lane road. At this point, the speed limit will slow down to 30 mph. The police are oftentimes waiting for you to fly by, so tell your drivers to be careful.

Sometimes life on the East End can be fast and crowded. There aren’t as many people out here after summer, but just because we have a small population doesn’t mean we have a small number of cars.

Marie Hand and Thomas House’s sixth- and seventh-grade students, Bridgehampton School

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