Drivers who make U-Turns on Love Lane in Mattituck could soon be cited for the maneuver.
In a memo dated Oct. 22, Southold Transportation Commission Chair Neboysha Brashich asked Town Board members to consider enacting legislation to ban U-turns along the road and install appropriate signage.
Councilman Bill Ruland, who serves as liaison to the Transportation Commission, said the measure has been discussed for several years and came to a head after a recent incident this summer.
“[A vehicle] just came roaring up there and made a left and turned right into [a walkway],” Mr. Ruland said at a work session Wednesday morning. “The people on the benches had to dive out of the way,” to avoid the driver, who was attempting to turn around to access a parking spot on the opposite side of the street, he said.
“There was always some question about whether the town had the authority to do it or not,” Mr. Ruland said, noting that the town attorney had researched and found the town can regulate traffic rules on the town-owned street.
Officials hope that as the reconstruction of Ray Dean parking lot is completed, more people will opt to park behind the Love Lane shops and walk. “It’s only maybe 10 more steps than where they would be [parking on the street],” Councilwoman Jill Doherty said.
To encourage that, Councilman Jim Dinizio and Mr. Ruland discussed placing more adequate signs directing people who may not know the parking lot is there, in addition to signs warning drivers of the U-turn ban.
Where to place such signs will be part of the ongoing discussion as the town attorney drafts language for the proposed legislation, which would be subject to a public hearing.
Mr. Ruland says the measure is needed to help further the town’s goal of walkability.
“If you’re going to promote a walkable downtown and spend money on the infrastructure to update sidewalks, walkways, crosswalks and all the things that enhance [pedestrians,] then you have to keep them safe, too,” he said.