Words of Warning

“in such a manner as to prevent undue interference with the flow of traffic”

   About a month ago, East Hampton Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. issued a reminder to groups of bicyclists who might take to his village’s roads. Objecting to thick knots of organized recreational pedalists who fail to yield to motorists or force pedestrians to jump aside, Mr. Rickenbach reminded them that they, too, are obliged to follow traffic laws, just like the drivers of cars and trucks, “in such a manner as to prevent undue interference with the flow of traffic.”
    In a similar scenario, we wonder if the village mayor and/or officials in other jurisdictions might let our landscaping companies know that the increasing habit of blocking entire paths of travel with vehicles and trailers too large to fit into the driveways of the properties they serve will no longer be tolerated.
    How often have motorists come around a blind curve hereabouts to encounter personnel of a lawn care firm unloading mowers from a big rig stopped right in the center of the roadway without someone posted to direct traffic? The risk is real. Some years ago, a worker lost his legs in an accident just outside East Hampton Village when he was crushed by a passing vehicle against the side of a trailer parked in the road. Although under some circumstances it might be possible for drivers to wait for the road to be cleared, many times they are forced unwittingly into oncoming traffic.
    One can understand why the landscapers do it. They may be loathe to park their giant work vehicles on the very grass clients pay them handsomely to maintain. And, since the Hamptons are a bit like company towns when it comes to the wishes of seasonal residents, officials might be inclined to look the other way. Regardless of the excuses, our roads — and the police who keep them safe — are paid for by taxpayers, who have every right to use them without undue risk of collision.