With the hit-and-run death of a nun in Water Mill on Monday, the message is clear that South Fork roads are no place for pedestrians. Only two weeks ago, this community had to digest the news that a high school student was struck and killed as he and several friends made their way on foot from the Amagansett train station to his house. And, although her death did not involve a pedestrian, a Montauk resident was killed when her car apparently went into the path of an oncoming pickup truck on July 4.
We cannot help but be saddened by each and every one of these deaths. Their frequency adds to the sense of needless loss. Sure, unfortunate things are going to happen when you put pedestrians together with vehicles on roads without shoulders or sidewalks. But that does not make these deaths or any of the more minor incidents acceptable. Visitors need to remember that the South Fork, if you go by recent summer population estimates, is no bucolic paradise where you can walk wherever you please and drive as fast as you like. Drivers need to keep it slow and watch for surprises around every turn. And local officials must respond by providing sidewalks, and bicycle paths, where they can and regrading roadsides for better visibility where they cannot.