Residents of the East Hampton neighborhood comprising Miller Lanes West and East and Indian Hill Road have been left frustrated with the results of their continuing appeals to the town board to do something about the volume of traffic and speeding through their neighborhood.
The board was poised at a meeting on March 7 to approve restrictions on heavy trucks over nine tons on those roads (except for local delivery), and to pass a law prohibiting left turns from Indian Hill Road at its intersection with North Main Street or Three Mile Harbor Road. But the resolution was tabled after a group of residents that had sat through other board business — including a hearing that pushed the meeting well past 10 p.m. — questioned the board’s approach.
“Now we’re left with, once again, a kind of piecemeal approach that’s not going to solve the problem,” said Julia Mead, a Miller Lane West resident who has been organizing concerned neighbors. “I’m wondering why no iteration of this plan has included a reduction of the speed limit on our road.”
Enacting a weight limit and banning large trucks from the neighborhood’s roads does address part of the problem, she acknowledged. But residents, she said, are disappointed with the lack of a comprehensive solution. Why, she asked, has the board not included residents of the area in its discussions of the problem?
Others wondered why a ban on left turns from Indian Hill Road is needed. The idea was first floated by Supervisor Bill Wilkinson in an earlier discussion. He said that the concept had been reviewed and approved by Eddie Ecker, the town police chief.
Ms. Mead suggested a professional review by traffic engineers is warranted.
A comprehensive look at the entire area is needed, Councilwoman Theresa Quigley said, as changing traffic patterns on any specific streets would have a ripple effect on other streets, including the nearby main byway of Cedar Street and its intersection with North Main Street.
The board had held a hearing last fall on residents’ suggestion to ban through traffic on their streets. That suggestion prompted protests that the ban would, in effect, privatize roads that are paid for and maintained by the Town Highway Department.
That proposal also included erecting stop signs at Downey Lane where it intersects with Miller Lane East and Miller Lane West. Ms. Mead asked the board last week why that had not happened.