Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that will allow the villages of East Hampton and Sag Harbor to reduce the speed limit on certain streets in the villages.
State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. co-sponsored the legislation, which will allow the Village of Sag Harbor to reduce the speed limit on Main Street, Bay Street, Madison Street and Jermain Avenue to 20 mph, and the Village of East Hampton to reduce the speed limit on King Street, McGuirk Street, Middle Lane, Mill Hill Lane and Meadow Way, also to 20 mph.
This legislation came from concerns about narrow and congested roadways in both villages and the safety of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. According to Mr. Thiele, both villages approached the state legislators about a year ago to address their concerns. He said there was an attempt to have similar legislation pushed through in 2015, but it was sent back by legislative staff because it was too broad. “They didn’t want 20-mph limits set villagewide, so the villages were asked to name which streets they would be on,” he explained.
The current speed limit on the streets is 25 mph, but Mr. Thiele said that there was precedence to reduce it. He referenced New York City signing a law back in 2014 reducing the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, which Mr. Thiele said gave a “renewed effort” to the issue that has been addressed off and on for some time locally.
Mr. Thiele said that the villages still retain legislative authority and have to hold a public hearing for the community to weigh in on the new speed limit before it is formally adopted. East Hampton Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach said that there are plans “in the not too distant future” to hold a public hearing.
“I’m very happy to hear that the governor has signed the legislation,” he said. “Lowering the speed is better for the safety of the village.”