In an effort to ease the morning commute on County Road 39, the Southampton Town Board on Tuesday approved a three-day test of a blinking light at the intersection of the highway and Tuckahoe Road on Tuesday through Thursday, April 19 to 21, from 6 to 9 a.m.
During the pilot program, traffic heading south on Tuckahoe Road will be prohibited from turning east onto County Road 39. Traffic heading north on Tuckahoe Road will be prohibited from turning west onto the highway. Through traffic on Tuckahoe Road crossing County Road 39 will also be prohibited during this pilot.
Suffolk County traffic engineers believe by changing the traffic light from a stoplight to a caution light may reduce stop-and-go traffic on the highway. Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he thought the program could shave 10 minutes off the morning commute.
Data from the pilot program will be used to help engineers determine if a more permanent solution can be found.
Faced with traffic problems 10 years ago, the town and county agreed to expand County Road 39 by adding a lane in either direction. The $13 million expansion was completed in 2008, but has proven to be inadequate.
The blinking light pilot program will cost the town approximately $6,000 for the cost of additional town police to implement the program and assure motorist safety. The Suffolk County Department of Public Works will assume other costs associated with the implementation of this pilot program.