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Addressing Traffic Congestion on Long Island's East End: A Roadmap to Relief by Manny Vilar

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

As a candidate for Suffolk County Legislator - District 2, I am deeply concerned about the traffic congestion that plagues the east end of Long Island and this growing problem is now unbearable. While many enjoy the natural beauty and attractions of this area, it has become increasingly difficult for both visitors and year-round residents alike. Numerous traffic surveys and ideas have been proposed, but we have yet to see a comprehensive solution to this pressing issue.

It's time that we develop clear and effective plans, not only to increase roadway capacity but also to address the demand side of the traffic equation. This includes creating additional economic housing options that will allow residents to live closer to their places of employment and explore ways to utilize the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to alleviate congestion.

The severity of this problem is evident when even village residents, like those in Southampton, find it nearly impossible to get out of their driveways during peak hours. This is not just a Southampton issue; it affects the entire east end of Long Island and demands immediate attention.

In September, the current Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone,

announced a pending Request for Proposal (RFP) aimed at addressing

these challenges. However, it's clear there aren't enough ideas or and it’s unclear if there have been submissions that completely tackle the various issues. We need openness and transparency from government so we all know this problem is being addressed.

As your legislator, I commit to working collaboratively with developers, residents, elected officials—including our next County Executive, Ed Romaine—and even seeking inspiration from other areas that have successfully resolved similar traffic problems.

Additionally, we must embrace new technology by utilizing AI for traffic management. Data can be integrated from smartphones and smart vehicles to better coordinate traffic signals, as we've seen done in places like Dallas.

Upgrading and replacing old decaying traffic signals with new ones equipped for communication with a central traffic management system is essential. These signal upgrades are now synchronized to keep vehicles moving at a steady pace. Traffic management centers can receive computer upgrades to communicate with far more signal locations. Cities like Charlotte and Atlanta have implemented Smart

Traffic Signals, which helps to move traffic along more efficiently.

Smartphones can provide real-time information about congestion, as they network with other phones. Signals from smart vehicles can transmit valuable data to manufacturers and driver assistance services.

The Dallas plan, which obtains data from these sources to control many

more traffic signals, can serve as a model for our efforts on the east end.

Furthermore, we need to explore additional innovative solutions, such

as considering the implementation of roundabouts or traffic rotaries that facilitate a continuous flow of traffic, reducing the need for stopping and idling. These measures can significantly improve overall traffic efficiency and reduce congestion, providing much-needed relief for our residents and visitors.

By prioritizing these changes and upgrades, we can communicate with congested areas effectively, evaluate the results, and work toward a more efficient and less congested future for the east end of Long Island. Together, we will find concrete solutions to alleviate congestion, ensuring that residents feel safe and that everyone can

fully enjoy the beauty of eastern Long Island.

East End Traffic Congestion Needs Solutions
Traffic congestion on eastern Long Island by Manny Vilar

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