Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said Tuesday that a three-day trial program last month along CR 39 to test a new traffic pattern had no measurable effect on easing delays for morning commuters.
During the traffic study, conducted by engineers with the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, the stoplight at the intersection of Tuckahoe Road and CR 39 was changed to a blinking light from April 19-21 between 6 and 9 a.m.
“It didn’t have any effect,” Schneiderman said of the changes.
Schneiderman said that beginning in spring, when the “trade parade” of contractors, landscapers and others working on summer homes increases, commuters complain that 45 to 60 minutes can be added to their morning drive.
Schneiderman said the hope was that changing the traffic light from a stoplight to a caution light would reduce stop-and-go traffic patterns along CR 39, which he said get worse between March and June.
During the study, motorists were prohibited from making a left turn onto CR 39 from Tuckahoe Road heading north. Drivers traveling south on Tuckahoe Road were not permitted to make a left turn to travel east on CR 39; motorists going west on CR 39 were not allowed to make a left onto Tuckahoe South; and thru traffic on Tuckahoe Road across CR 39 was prohibited.
Prior to the start of the study, crews spent April 12-14 traveling the area from 5 to 9 a.m. to collect data to measure travel time during the commute.
Two public works vehicles traveled east on Sunrise Highway from the Shinnecock Canal and continued on CR 39 to the end where it meets Montauk Highway. There were travel runs on Montauk Highway through Hampton Bays from New York State Route 24 (Flanders Road) to the Shinnecock Canal.
Schneiderman said other alternatives are being considered to ease the delays, including possibly raising the speed limit from 35 mph to 45 mph.
“It’s all in the preliminary phase,” Schneiderman said of any alternatives. “We’ll be looking at a lot of things to try to improve the situation.”