The Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association has unveiled its recommendations to improve the three-way intersection at Main Road, Love Lane and Old Sound Avenue in Mattituck and is proposing Southold Town ban eastbound turns from Love Lane to Main Road in order to make the area safer.
During a Town Board work session Tuesday, civic member John Carter outlined a few alternative plans drafted by local stakeholders tasked with finding a way to make the intersection located at the heart of the hamlet less dangerous.
The most heated issue at several roundtable and public meetings, he said, was a discussion about adding a “no-left turn” sign where drivers exit Love Lane and turn onto Main Road.
“The reason the roundtable said ‘no left turn’ is because we felt that was the most dangerous turn at the intersection as it exists,” he said. “We’ve stayed away from stoplights because we didn’t want to interrupt and back up traffic in the heart of the village anymore.”
The civic has also made several other traffic-calming recommendations, such as installing an island and stop sign westbound on Main Road where it exits onto Love Lane, a stop sign or yield sign westbound onto Main Road from Love Lane, and a stop sign on Love Lane at the three-way intersection.
As for Old Sound Avenue, the civic’s recommendation is to keep it as a one-way street and add sidewalks and green space. Also under discussion is the idea of changing that street’s parallel parking arrangement into diagonal parking in order to maximize the number of spaces, he added.
The civic’s overall traffic-calming report, which has been about a year in the making and is now available on its website, covers areas between Mill Lane and Factory Avenue in Mattituck and includes other alternatives to solve the Main Road, Love Lane and Old Sound Avenue intersection.
Councilman Bill Ruland said he believes an immediate solution could be asking the Southold Town Police Department to evaluate the intersection to implement its own traffic-calming plan, such as installing speed sign machines and equipment to count the number of passing vehicles. The police department has also agreed to assign additional officers on foot patrol around the intersection in order to help educate drivers and pedestrians about current traffic laws, as well as issuing tickets to large commercial trucks traveling on Love Lane, which the town prohibits.
“We all agree it’s dangerous,” Mr. Ruland said of the intersection. “And if you’re on foot, it’s every man for himself.”
Mr. Carter concluded his presentation by asking the Town Board to have traffic and engineering studies conducted in order to evaluate the effectiveness and cost of each proposed solution listed in the civic’s report.
Town Supervisor Scott Russell said he believes the next step is to find an engineering consultant to work with the state Department of Transportation to conduct the studies since the state has jurisdiction over Main Road.
Top photo: An image of the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association’s recommendations for the Main Road, Love Lane and Old Sound Avenue intersection in Mattituck. (Credit: Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association)
Middle photo: Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association member John Carter addressing the Southold Town Board on Tuesday. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)