Traffic concerns raised after cars keep crashing into hotel in East Hampton

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Friday, February 2, 2024
Calls for action after cars repeatedly crash into hotel on Long Island
Chantee Lans has more on the calls for action from East Hampton.

EAST HAMPTON, Long Island (WABC) -- It's a nightmare that just keeps playing out over and over for a hotel owner in East Hampton: cars keep crashing into the front of the hotel.

Just last month, a car barreled through the front porch of the historic Hedges Inn General.

For Jennifer Lilja, who is Hotel General Manager and Executive Chef, it's no surprise.

Crashes like the most recent have happened, believed it or not, eight times in the last decade.

"To see a car coming at 80 miles an hour airborne into your building, it's a wonder no one's been seriously hurt," said Lilja. "I'm just really worried someone is going to get seriously hurt."

So, what does it keep happening?

Drivers heading east on the popular Route 27 will reach a traffic light at an intersection. To continue east, you have to turn left onto Main Street.

The issue happens to be that the hotel sits about 75 yards beyond the intersection, which is in the direct path of any vehicle that accidentally continues straight.

The recent crash is sparking a renewed push among East Hampton Village officials to find a solution.

"We're working," said Village of East Hampton Mayor Jerry Larsen. "We've hired an engineering group to figure out a way to stop vehicles from coming across this lawn and this beautiful building here."

Mayor Larsen says changes to Route 27, which is a state road, requires approval from the New York State Department of Transportation.

The DOT issued the following statement on the matter:

"Safety is always the top priority of the New York State Department of Transportation, and we are not aware of any safety issues concerning the State Route 27 intersection in the Village of East Hampton. NYSDOT is a proud member of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, which strives to reduce drowsy driving and speeding.

For now, rumble strips, which are already on the ground, are in place to warn drivers.

Mayor Larsen says traffic during the day and during a busy Hamptons summer season prevents speeding. But at night, it's a different story.

"We want to work really close with the owners and get this repaired, obviously before the season," he added.


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