Drivers traveling east and west on Town Lane in Amagansett will soon have to pause when they reach Abraham’s Path—the intersection is set to become a four-way stop.
At an East Hampton Town Board meeting on Thursday, council members approved a change to the Town Code that would allow the town to add two stop signs to the existing north-south ones already in place at the intersection.
The change must first be approved by the State Department of Transportation, however, before it goes forward.
According to town engineer Tom Talmage, a four-way stop can be used as a safety measure to prevent accidents. He said there have been 16 at the intersection over six years, most recently two in 2012 and three in 2013.
East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo said it appears that speed coupled with drivers negotiating who goes next at the intersection leads to confusion and most likely has contributed to some accidents.
After a full stop has been made, drivers have the right-of-way to proceed through in the order that they arrived. If they arrive at the same time, each driver must yield to the driver at right.
At the public hearing for the code change, former town councilwoman and Planning Board chairwoman Debra Foster said she was concerned about the addition of two stop signs.
“Four corners creates more problems than they solve,” she said. “Nobody knows who goes first—I’m one of those people.”
She added that 12 signs would be too many, too.
According to Mr. Talmage, however, there will be eight signs total—four stop signs and four advance warning signs, as well as white bars painted on the pavement for each stop sign.
The intersection is a busy one and sits near Sportime Amagansett and the Abraham’s Path Recreation Park. Because of the intersection’s proximity to both places, the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee had recommended the change, according to the Town Board’s liaison to the group, Sylvia Overby.
“There was a conversation at the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee meeting with the members of the Fire Department, who said their EMTs thought it was a dangerous intersection,” she said this week. “It had nothing to do with speed, but with accidents and the fact that there is a youth park and an area where you’ve got parents picking up their kids. We want everybody to pay attention.”