Two illuminated crosswalks to assist nighttime pedestrians and drivers will be installed on Main Street in East Hampton Village over the next few weeks. The installation, approved by the East Hampton Village Board in February, began on Monday, six months after a pedestrian was hit and injured in a village crosswalk at dusk.
“I’m lucky to be alive,” said Larry Zarsky, an East Hampton resident who sustained a fractured pelvis and shattered knee on Oct. 23, when crossing the street following a party at Babette’s restaurant on Newtown Lane.
Mr. Zarsky said that pedestrians getting injured, even in crosswalks, was “a real problem.”
As far as the new crosswalks being installed, Mr. Zarsky had a positive response. “Anything that will save one life, stop one injury, is a good thing,” he said.
The crosswalks will be installed at the Circle and at Huntting Lane, and during construction visitors to Main Street are being told to expect slow going.
Road closures, both eastbound and westbound, will continue Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until the work is finished — approximately three weeks.
Travel lanes will be closed or shifted, with sometimes only one lane open and occasionally complete closure for brief intervals. In addition to the lighted crosswalks, the New York State Department of Transportation is also improving the sidewalk ramps.
The D.O.T. is urging drivers to find alternate routes around the construction if possible. This would bring drivers down to Egypt Lane from Pondview Lane or Dunemere Lane, or north of Main Street on Toilsome Lane to Newtown Lane.
When the work is complete, pedestrians will have the ability to push a button on one side of the street, and illuminate the yellow lights in the crosswalk prior to walking.
These are only the second “smart” illuminated crosswalks installed on Long Island. Since the project was approved by the board, a similar setup has been constructed in East Patchogue.
Although the State D.O.T. is responsible for the construction, the village will pay for the electricity and upkeep of the new crosswalks.