No one will remember this but me, but a year ago The Independent printed a letter I wrote suggesting a solution to County Road 39 traffic problems using techniques similar to those deployed during the 2004 US Open. Lo and behold, in the past two issues, The Independent has reported that County Exec Levy and now Supervisor Heaney are promoting such a plan. Now that it's getting serious I wanted to comment again.
The idea of opening two lanes eastbound from the Lobster Inn is overkill. Do the dozens of merchants along the way know there will be no left-hand turns in either direction — and what impact it will have on their business? And what about the risk of head-on collisions along the winding 3-mile stretch? Since the major choke point is the traffic light at Magee (ever notice how traffic runs free and clear without fail from here to the Princess Diner?), the eastbound road only needs to be opened to two lanes just past Tuckahoe Lane. This simple half-mile stretch should do the trick as long as there is a traffic agent at Tuckahoe Road (Shinnecock Hills) and one at Magee to keep traffic moving.
This will cost a lot less than the current plan, require fewer signs and cones, keep businesses thriving and reduce accidents. And, it will allow any leftover funds to be put toward a badly needed "Water Mill Solution." I've got one in mind — will we have to wait a year for that one?