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Bumpy Business

Thu, 03/21/2024 - 09:20


Again in East Hampton Village, the board of trustees has done something that has people scratching their heads in puzzlement. Why, they want to know, did several speed bumps get placed on Highway Behind the Pond, of all places? Now, the village leadership wants to install more bumps, this time on LaForest Lane. By  4-to-1 vote on a previously undisclosed "walk-on" plan put before them at the last minute the board agreed last week to an $18,000 speedbump project there. Similarly, the Highway Behind the Pond bumps more or less just appeared from thin air.

In the absence of a concrete, villagewide plan, or even any notable complaints about the two lightly traveled streets, it would appear that a highly specific kind of constituent service was at work here. But meanwhile, village officials seem perfectly happy with the potential traffic impacts a large brewpub planned for Toilsome Lane might produce. There has never been a broad sense that Highway Behind the Pond and LaForest Lane were a problem. Dunemere and Further Lanes, sure, but not those two essentially backroads. 

The decisions to put speed bumps in these places were clearly ad-hoc and appear to have been unnecessary. Indeed, in a report to the village board also made last week, Acting Police Chief Jeff Erickson did not include either of those streets among his list of concerns. Instead, he said that additional stop signs should be placed at actual places of concern, such as at the intersection of Cove Hollow and Jericho Roads and asking the state about putting signs at Buell Lane and Church Street. 

Being responsive to residents' wants is important, but so is transparency about what is being done and for whom. The larger village constituency deserves an honest explanation — and an end to so-called walk-on resolutions unless the need is immediate and essential. As to the speed bump locations, Chief Erickson said officers monitored the area in December and January and only wrote two summonses for speeding.

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