The New York State Department of Transportation heard comments on proposed improvements to the Edwards Avenue/Route 25 intersection in Calverton, as well at to the intersection of Main Street and Route 48 in Greenport during a “virtual public hearing” Wednesday night.
While DOT officials heard comments and questions about the projects, they did not respond to them at the hearing, saying that answers to questions “will be addressed in the project design report,” which is anticipated to be posted on the project website in the spring.
The website can be found here.
The DOT seeks to acquire several small pieces of land needed to widen the Calverton intersection and to build a “mini-roundabout” at the Greenport site.
The hearings also covered two other projects in East Hampton town.
Ray Ankrum, the superintendent of the Riverhead Charter School, asked if the DOT was considering a speed zone in front of the charter school.
“Traffic patterns on Middle Country [Road] are dangerous, especially nearest to the charter school,” he wrote. “We’d love for there to be a speed zone placed in front of the charter school, with a possible light to let buses out.”
Alan Daters of Riverhead wrote that turns at the Calverton intersection “are often problematic for tractor trailers.”
He asked if the DOT has considered installing a roundabout at the Calverton site.
According to the DOT, the intersection had 40 crashes between 2016 and 2019.
The DOT proposal calls for “exclusive left-turn lanes” for vehicles waiting to make left-hand turns, in order to reduce rear-end collisions.
Studies show that exclusive left-hand turns reduce crashes by 50% on average, according to the DOT.
The Edwards Avenue project carries a price tag of $5.12 million. That number does not include land acquisition costs, officials said.
The corner of State Route 25 (Main Street) at County Road 48 in the unincorporated section of Greenport is proposed for construction of a “mini-roundabout,” according to the state.
The intersection currently has a blinking caution light for east and westbound traffic and a blinking stop light and a stop sign for traffic heading north out of Greenport.
But residents say it had a traffic circle in the past.
Scott McIntire asked if the DOT had studied the prior roundabout at the intersection, which was removed in the 1980s.
“Why didn’t it work?” he asked.
Jurgen Riehle of Greenport said he lives near the proposed roundabout.
“I have high hopes for the project’s impact on the traffic issues at this dangerous intersection,” he said.
He added that there is currently an application to develop a “high density office park on the 4.6-acre lot on the southeast corner of the intersection.”
“We are very encouraged that the roundabout solution will have a positive impact on the significant congestion at this problematic intersection,” wrote Margot Perman.
She also brought up the proposed development on the office park, southeast of the intersection.
“We think it’s essential that the DOT will require the developer to execute a new traffic impact study,” she wrote.
Other commenters wrote that they have been asking for a roundabout at the Love Lane/Route 25 intersection at Mattituck with no success.
Construction costs for the roundabout are estimated at $2.76 million, a figure that doesn’t include land acquisition costs.
The DOT report says that roundabouts “typically achieve a 37% reduction in overall collisions, a 75% reduction in injury collisions and a 90% reduction in fatality collisions.
The DOT is hoping to begin construction in early 2024 and to finish in 2025.