According to a New York State Department of Transportation documents, a new traffic light is proposed for Route 25 and Oaklawn Avenue in Southold.
“No one knew about it until Nov. 5 [the transportation commission meeting]. The supervisor didn’t know about it, our engineering department didn’t know about it,” Southold Town Councilman Bill Ruland said while discussing the topic at a work session Tuesday.
In a letter to Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) who chairs the county’s School Traffic Zone Safety Commission, DOT regional director Joseph Brown reports an investigation into a traffic signal request has been completed.
“As a result of our investigation, we have determined that it would be appropriate to install a traffic signal with a westbound left turn arrow at the subject location. This work will be included in an upcoming Singal Requirements Contract,” Mr. Brown wrote
The investigation included an accident analysis, review of traffic counts, delay study and field observations, according to Mr. Brown.
Town Board members raised several concerns with the proposal, including the proximity of the signal to Horton’s Lane, located just northeast of the Route 25 and Oaklawn Avenue intersection.
“You have two major intersections and a light for only one? What’s going to happen to the traffic?” Mr. Ruland posed.
Though the letter, dated July 25, references a request made in February 2016, “We’re just hearing about it now,” Ms. Doherty said.
According to a September 2016 report by the Suffolk County School Traffic Zone Safety Commission, Southold Union Free School District identified the intersection, a main thoroughfare for buses entering and exiting, as an area of concern. “As per the school, a requested traffic light would ease access all day,” the report states.
The commission was created via resolution in 2015 in response to community and school concerns regarding traffic safety near Suffolk County schools.
A DOT spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that a traffic signal is planned for the intersection, adding that it’s part of a $7.5 million project under the statewide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan that covers 236 locations on Long Island.
It is expected to be completed in spring 2019, the spokesperson said.
“Other than the beginning of school and when school gets out, traffic flows very well at that intersection,” Mr. Ruland said. “We want safety everywhere. There are way more questions than there are answers at this time.”
Photo caption: The traffic light will be installed at the intersection of Route 25 and Oaklawn Avenue in Southold. (Tara Smith photo)