Safer Crosswalk Proposed at Sag Harbor Village Gateway
By Douglas Feiden
A plan to tame traffic on the widest stretch of Main Street by reconfiguring the streetscape between John Jermain Memorial Library and the Whaling and Historical Museum cleared a key hurdle at the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday night.
Members voted to support the concept and authorize planning and design work to move forward on a proposed reengineering in which a distinctive new crosswalk would link the two cultural institutions, providing safer access to an often-perilous strip of roadway.
Under a preliminary draft of the plan, the sidewalks would be expanded and the crosswalk widened and moved 20 feet south of its current location, where Union and Garden streets join Main Street, directly aligning it with the library’s front door.
It would also be slightly elevated — sloping 6 inches up, running 18 feet along a granite plateau, then sloping 6 inches down — and it would have distinct markings to make it more visible to oncoming traffic.
“It would help create a more walkable village, relieve traffic congestion, encourage people to walk and bike and help relieve parking,” said Eric Cohen, a leader of the village’s Transportation and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, which first proposed the idea back in 2013.
It would also address the age-old problem of cars barreling down Main Street, flouting the posted but often-ignored speed limit at a crossing point heavily used by children, seniors, residents and other library-bound patrons.
Referring to speeding motorists, Neil Slevin, a Planning Board member who was speaking as a Main Street resident, said, “It shouldn’t be treated like the LIE. It is a Main Street, but it’s also a neighborhood.”
In signaling conceptual support, the trustees pushed the plan ahead, a step needed to pursue funding for engineering studies and a final finished proposal.