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Montauk may get more lighting, taxi stands to calm visitors

Montauk revelers wait quietly for taxis early Sunday,

Montauk revelers wait quietly for taxis early Sunday, July 19, 2015 outside the Surf Lodge on Edgemere Street. The community has demanded a crackdown on crowds that populate the hamlet during summer weekends. Photo Credit: Doug Kuntz

East Hampton Town Board members last week discussed whether to put in additional lighting and two taxi stands in downtown Montauk to help address problems with disruptive young summer visitors to the hamlet.

Montauk residents have complained about out-of-control partying that came to a head last summer when police received a record number of calls for offenses ranging from public urination and congested streets to littering.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo and other officials who are trying to ease problems on streets near establishments that attract large and rowdy crowds during the summer have said additional lighting might deter some bad behavior and help to better monitor certain areas.

Officials said taxi stands would also help ease vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic connected to the nightclub and bar scene.

During last Tuesday’s East Hampton Town Board work session held at the Montauk firehouse, Deputy Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, “These would be relatively minor changes.”

Sarlo said the proposed site for the taxi stands would be South Emerson Avenue near South Edison Street and on South Euclid Avenue just north of the Plaza, but he said the exact locations for the additional lighting has not yet been determined.

After the meeting, Sarlo said his department is having meetings about the proposals with a subcommittee of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee, which advises the town board.

“Ultimately the supervisor’s office and the highway department will make the final decision based on committee recommendations,” Sarlo said.

Residents who spoke during the work session said that they thought having taxi stands could cause traffic backups as people get in and out of cabs and that having bright lighting is out of character for Montauk, where there are many areas with no lighting.

“It would be very low level wattage lights that give the roadway a little bit more safety,” Sarlo said.

Julie Brumm gave Supervisor Larry Cantwell a photograph that she said illustrates how the taxis take over the streets during the summer.

“There’s no place for residents to park on Main Street,” Brumm said.

Van Scoyoc said changes might be tried to see whether they work.

“It would be a pilot project to see what kind of changes we can make to make things orderly and safe for all,” Van Scoyoc said.

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