Searching for solutions to Love Lane traffic problem

07/13/2012 11:00 AM |

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Love Lane in Mattituck is plagued by persistent traffic problems, including speeding and stop sign violations.

Heavy traffic on Love Lane has been the bane of many Mattituck residents’ existence all year.

From big trucks barreling through the narrow sycamore-lined street in the early morning to the constant parade of oversized luxury cars vying for scarce parallel parking spaces on the one-block stretch of business district to frequent u-turns at the short road’s intersection with Pike Street, locals are saying they don’t feel safe when visiting to check their mail, do their banking or grab a bite to eat.

Marie Domenici of Mattituck has spent several months voicing her concerns about the safety of the road to the Southold Town Board. Last Tuesday, board members agreed to look into providing better signage to remind visitors that there are two large parking lots behind Love Lane — to the west and east of the busy shopping district. Those lots are rarely full.

But some board members were skeptical the signs would help.

“How much signage can you put in a hamlet and have people be able to comprehend?” said Councilman Bill Ruland.

Mattituck resident Frank Wills, who visits Love Lane daily to check his mail, told board members he frequently sees trucks speeding down the street and ignoring the stop sign at the corner of Pike Street.

Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley said he’s assigned officers to monitor Love Lane for an hour twice each day.

Ms. Domenici recommended that police monitor traffic at 7 a.m. to catch trucks speeding on Love Lane, which is the shortest cut-through on the North Fork between Route 25 and Route 48. Automotive GPS systems routinely direct drivers down Love Lane, adding to the problems there.

Board members considered putting up a sign that says only local delivery by trucks is allowed.

Though there has been talk in the past of making Love Lane a one-way road, U.S. postal regulations prohibit post offices from being located on a one-way streets. The large sycamore trees lining both sides of the street also preclude widening of the road.

Town Board members briefly considered asking the police department to make sure people park closer to the curb, but Supervisor Scott Russell said he doesn’t want to do anything that would hurt business on Love Lane.

“I don’t know what to do. All I know is I get these regular complaints,” said Mr. Russell.

byoung@timesreview.com