Gurney's Inn
May 24, 2006

Southampton Town Seeks To Lower Speed Limits

The Southampton Town Board was expected to hold a public hearing yesterday on obtaining "home rule" status over setting speed limits on all town and county roads. Its desired town-wide speed limit is 30 miles per hour, minus roads that are designated 45 mph by the New York State Department of Transportation and the Suffolk County Department of Public Works.

Currently, New York State establishes speed limits for town, county and state roads in Southampton. Incorporated villages have home rule authority, population levels notwithstanding.

State law precludes townships with populations under 55,000 from altering speed limits on town roads. Southampton has an annual population of 57,000, swelling to more than 120,000 in the summer. Still, the municipality is required to petition the state department of transportation for a "speed survey request." Between 2003-04, the town submitted several requests but no action was taken.

In order to acquire home rule standing, the town must amend its code relating to vehicles and traffic and hire a traffic engineer, which necessitates a public hearing.

Those who could not attend yesterday's hearing and wish to be heard on the matter can write to the Office of Town Council, Southampton Town Hall, 116 Hampton Road, Southampton, NY 11968. The Division of Intermodal Transportation and Traffic Safety will also accept inquiries and comments: 283-6000, ext. 165.

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