Editorial: Another intersection that needs to be fixed

03/24/2016 9:00 AM |

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The danger that lurks at the intersection of Love Lane and Main Road is abundantly clear. A winding road, a busy part of town with considerable foot traffic and drivers using Old Sound Avenue to reach an active church and a popular local theater add up to increased risk for motorists and pedestrians alike.

As the owner of Mattituck Florist said Saturday during a discussion at Mattituck Presbyterian Church: “It’s just chaos.”

For nearly a year, members of the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association have tossed around an array of possible solutions, from adding a traffic light, to installing stop signs, to creating curbed islands in the middle of Main Road to separate traffic lanes. Last August, both Supervisor Scott Russell and Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo pledged to support the grassroots effort to change the roadway. Both were present again Saturday and recommended that the group submit several plans to the town, county and state for review.

With official support in place, it’s time to move forward so a plan can begin making its way through the many layers of bureaucracy that always precede implementation. The civic association deserves credit for stirring public discussion of this situation.

Audience members agreed Saturday that the intersection requires immediate attention. Civic association president Mary Eisenstein estimated that in the last 10 years at least 70 accidents have occurred in the area. John Carter, communication director at the U.S. Department of Energy, described it as “poorly engineered” and “dangerous.”

It’d be hard to argue otherwise.

Concerns about changing the busy intersection focus mostly on traffic: Would stoplights cause unnecessary backups on Main Road? Might traffic shift instead to nearby roads like Wickham and New Suffolk avenues?

Those repercussions are possible. So it’s up to the various levels of government to secure funding for a study that would ensure a safer, more efficient roadway for both motorists and pedestrians.

Let’s not wait for another tragic accident as the motivator for change.

Photo Caption: Traffic heading west on Old Sound Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

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