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Speed limit for Skunk Lane in Cutchogue recommended to be lowered

Some residents of the Skunk Lane area of Cutchogue say speeding vehicles in the area are putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk.

Now, the Southold Town Transportation Commission has recommended the speed limit be lowered on Skunk Lane and Eugene’s Road from 40 mph to 30 mph.

In an email to Southold Town Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando dated Sept. 9, Eugene’s Road resident Marjorie Adams detailed several close calls she’s had with speeding vehicles while walking or riding her bike with friends in the neighborhood.

“On numerous occasions, all of us have been frightened by cars hurling down Eugene’s Road and Skunk Lane.”

During one incident in late July, a speeding truck coming around a curve at 40 mph on Eugene’s Road resulted in Ms. Adams being thrown from her bike, though not seriously injured.

She noted that nearby residential areas, such as Pequash Avenue, have 30 mph speed limits. “It is extremely dangerous to have a car traveling at 35 miles per hour on residential streets,” Ms. Adams wrote. “I am very worried that I or someone else is going to get seriously hurt or worse.”

In addition to lower speed limits, Ms. Adams requested additional signs be installed to remind drivers to share the road with cyclists.

According to Councilman Bill Ruland, who serves as the Town Board liaison to the transportation commission, the request must be referred by the board to the New York State Department of Transportation, which regulates speed limits.

Mr. Orlando said during an interview Tuesday that the town would have to work together with the DOT and eventually consider a formal resolution to set the speed limit.

He agreed that the speed limit should be lowered. “It’s really nice down there, there’s a lot of people riding bicycles, walking, jogging. Unfortunately, a lot of [Skunk Lane] is straight and when you get on a straight road, people tend to accelerate,” he said. “Around here, slower is better, absolutely.”

During their regular meeting Tuesday, the Town Board authorized the request to be made to the Suffolk County Department of Public Works and state DOT to lower the speed limit and install “share the road” signs.

Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley also said changing the speed limit would be appropriate for the two roads. He said the speed limits were likely established before each road was developed with housing. “They are the main pathways for everyone up in Nassau Point,” the chief said. He said that in the meantime, the department has placed an electronic speed sign in the area. “We’re trying to bring it to people’s attention to slow down in that area,” he said.

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