Shelter Island officials oppose proposed Noyac Road weight limit

The Southampton Town Board is “seriously reconsidering the wisdom” of a proposal that would ban trucks over 10,000 pounds from using Noyac Road, according to Shelter Island Supervisor Jim Dougherty.

The road is used as back-road alternative to Montauk Highway for traffic headed to Sag Harbor, Shelter Island and East Hampton from Southampton and points west. Mr. Dougherty said it is an important route for truck traffic head to and from Shelter Island.

He and Shelter Island Highway Supervisor and Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. testified at a Southampton Town Board hearing Tuesday night at which many others objected to the proposal, Mr. Dougherty said.

Noyac is “a very major road for both town trucks and also private commercial trucks,” Mr. Dougherty told his own Town Board at its Tuesday work session. The Southampton proposal could “shove the traffic down to East Hampton,” increasing  truckers’ expenses and those costs would subsequently be passed on to Shelter Islanders who have goods delivered here, he said.

He called it “a very unwise piece of legislation.”

Mr. Dougherty said he had received an e-mail Tuesday afternoon from Southampton Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone indicating that the proposal would exempt trucks bound for North Haven or South Ferry.

But on Wednesday morning, Southampton Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato said there is no such language in the proposed law. The only exemption would apply to deliveries being made to addresses along Noyac Road, she said.

Mr. Dougherty, who is chairman of the East End Mayors and Supervisors Association, said many of his colleagues on that board shared his concerns. Closing the road to truck traffic could result in problems that could adversely affect Shelter Island traffic as well as traffic in East Hampton, Mr. Dougherty said.

Mr. Zappone said the purpose of Tuesday’s hearing was to get input from “all sides of the coin,” and said he anticipated that views expressed by Mr. Dougherty and Mr. Card would be considered along with statements from business representatives and Southampton residents.

Just when the Southampton Town Board might reconsider the proposed law is unclear, Mr. Zappone said. But if such a law is to be implemented, it would be helpful to have it in place by this summer in order to judge its efficacy at a time when traffic is heaviest, he said.

“That may or may not be achievable,” Mr. Zappone said about getting a law implemented that soon.