With the posting of new signs at the 7-Eleven in Montauk notifying drivers that they must enter one way on the east and exit one way on the west along Montauk Highway, the final stage of a traffic improvement project at the entrances to the convenience store and the I.G.A. across the street has been completed.
The new signs, one of which highlights a nearby crosswalk, were put in place by the New York State Department of Transportation at the request of the East Hampton Town Police Department. There are no restrictions as to how vehicles may cross the highway from the I.G.A. to enter the parking lot at the 7-Eleven, which at one point had been expected.
Included in the project was a change to the I.G.A. supermarket parking lot, which is also now one way in off the highway and one way out to the rear. Many residents, including motel owners in the area, are unhappy about the change. They claim more cars on the road behind the I.G.A. could cause a serious accident in summer, when there are people walking to the beach at night and hanging out.
Drivers, however, are still ignoring the new pattern and daily can be seen exiting the I.G.A. onto the highway, where it says not to, and making left turns that have been prohibited for years.
It’s been only a week since the new signs were posted, said Lt. Chris Hatch, who is the Montauk precinct commander, but enforcement will be immediate and tickets will be given at the discretion of the police officer on duty.
Roadside parking in the area has also been moved back to improve the sight lines of drivers and pedestrians, Lieutenant Hatch said, and large trucks that have been parking on the sidewalk outside the parking lot and that block visibility may also be cited by the officer on duty.
As the season approaches, only time will tell if the reconfiguration will be a success, Lieutenant Hatch said. “I believe that there will be an improvement,” he said.