East Hampton, NY - November 25, 2013 - The Suffolk County Legislature has unanimously approved legislation to appropriate funds in connection with the Downtown Revitalization Program and the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce will receive a $37,000 grant to be used for the construction of an illuminated crosswalk in downtown East Hampton Village.
The illuminated crosswalk will be installed on Newtown Lane in the heart of the downtown East Hampton commercial district. This area experiences substantial pedestrian and vehicular traffic, particularly in the summer months when foot traffic to the village’s shops, restaurants, parks and entertainment venues is at its peak. The new crosswalk will improve visibility for and of pedestrians and reduce the risk of vehicle and pedestrian accidents.
The system will service an existing crosswalk on Newtown Lane located approximately 500 feet north of Main Street. The project entails installation of a series of LED lights in the pavement wired to a control box and a push button switch on either side of the street. The fixtures and wiring are embedded in the surface of the pavement. Once installed, pedestrians about to cross the street will press a button to activate the lights and signal oncoming motorists that they are about to enter the crosswalk.
The illuminated path will provide a visual cue to oncoming traffic that pedestrians are in the crosswalk, and the pedestrians in turn will feel safer during their visit to the village. As recommended in the Village’s Comprehensive Plan, the village will not be expanding parking facilities for the foreseeable future and instead is seeking to reduce automobile dependency.
All efforts to improve the pedestrian infrastructure will advance this effort. Visitors to the village, who may experience difficulty parking, will be encouraged to walk to their destinations if they feel that the route is convenient and safe. Visitors will also be more likely to return for future visits. In turn, the local merchants, restaurants, and other venues will benefit from the repeat business of these visitors upon whom they depend for vibrant, year-round business.
“I am delighted that the County is a sponsor on this important public safety initiative in East Hampton Village. It will provide a safer crossing to residents and visitors alike,” says Legislator Jay Schneiderman.
The proposed illuminated crosswalk on Newtown Lane is modeled on two crosswalks that were installed on Main Street over the past few years. This crosswalk design has been shown to be effective in addressing longstanding concerns over traffic congestion and travel speeds in the village center.
The Village of East Hampton will provide 50% in matching funds. The village previously partnered with the New York State Department of Transportation to design and install two existing illuminated crosswalks on Main Street. Under those projects, the Village designed the crosswalks and the NYSDOT completed the installation. This project proposes the same design for the Newtown Lane crosswalk.
The installation time is estimated at one week and is expected that the work will be completed in the next year. Installation will be scheduled in the off-season, weather permitting, to avoid disruption to traffic in the summer months.
The East Hampton Village DPW will maintain the crosswalk by repainting traffic markings every year. Other maintenance will be performed by DPW personnel as well as under contract with an existing vendor and will consist of repairing and replacing lights as needed.
“On behalf of the Village of East Hampton, I want to thank Legislator Jay Schneiderman and the County Executive for the Downtown Revitalization Grant. This project is an important one in promoting pedestrian safety in the Village’s Business District and the illuminated crosswalks the Village currently has have been a success. I would also like to thank the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce for their support and assistance in submitting the application on behalf of the Village. We are most appreciative of everyone’s efforts to make this happen,” said East Hampton Mayor Paul Rickenbach.