Traffic generated by the U.S. Open golf tournament in Southampton eased somewhat Tuesday, as authorities grappled with reducing the gridlock of Monday’s start of the weeklong event.
“It’s moving, and we’re monitoring to see if we have to make any additional changes,” said Southampton Town Police spokeswoman Lt. Susan Ralph, as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
While there were still backups and stop-and-go traffic in some areas, such as stretches in Southampton Village and along County Road 39, Ralph said that, overall, “Traffic is moving.”
Earlier, Town Police Chief Steve Skrynecki said police were getting live feeds from Suffolk County police helicopters and a drone provided by the state to help keep traffic moving.
He said police have also changed the cycle on traffic lights on major roads heading to the event, making them flashing yellow signals. Officers have been stationed at intersections to respond to any backups, he said.
“We did realize an improvement, and we’re still studying things we might do tomorrow,” Skrynecki said. “Did we have delays? Yes, we did not eliminate delays, but we improved.”
Skrynecki said the normal traffic flow this time of year is “very significant” and that adding the vehicles heading to the golf tournament “complicates it more.”
Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said Southampton officials are working with the county to create longer queuing areas for the shuttle buses coming in to help with traffic.
On Monday morning a combination of commuters and spectators headed to and from the first day of official practice rounds at the Shinnecock Hills course had backed up traffic for 10 miles on Montauk Highway.
While the Open, one of four major championships in golf, doesn’t officially start until Thursday, fans are going to Shinnecock to watch some of the world’s best golfers practice.
WAYS TO GET TO THE US. OPEN
•Consider driving to the U.S. Open on County Road 39/State Route 27, which abuts the golf club, instead of alternate routes.
•Avoid the parts of Tuckahoe Road that are closed during the tournament. Drivers cannot stop, stand or park within about a three-quarter-mile radius around it.
•Take the LIRR to and from its temporary Shinnecock Hills station, served by regularly scheduled Montauk branch trips and extra trains. As many as 9,000 people a day are expected to travel by rail.
•Ride private coach bus company Hampton Jitney, which run to and from Manhattan, and to and from points east.
•Take taxis, Uber vehicles and other ride-share services from designated pickup and drop off sites at the Stony Brook University campus in Southampton.
•Bike to the tournament from racks at the campus parking lot.
Sources: USGA, LIRR, Southampton