Southold could add a new tool to its arsenal to slow down drivers


New solar-powered road signs may soon arrive in Southold as authorities seek ways to reduce dangerous speeding on busy city roads.

A pilot program proposal to install speed solar panels was discussed during the city council working session on October 19. City Councilor Sarah Nappa, council liaison with the city’s transport commission, presented the proposal.

Nappa told Newsday on Thursday that she had frequently received complaints about how high-speed cars along certain streets and roads in the city, such as Peconic Bay Boulevard, posed a safety threat. Nappa said the new signs could be “very effective” in alerting motorists who are unfamiliar with the area and who can speed up.

“We’re hoping to get four of these signs ordered for Peconic Bay Boulevard because they not only have a problem with traffic, but they have a real problem with speed,” Nappa said. “There are several places on North Fork where we could use them, and I think that would be really beneficial.”

With the advent of smartphones, Nappa – who lived on Peconic Bay Boulevard – said people have found roads away from the often busy main road to bypass traffic in recent years. However, these roads subsequently experienced increased traffic and speeding that affected nearby residents, according to city officials.

Southold is expected to spend around $ 20,000 this year on four solar panels on Peconic Bay Boulevard. The Transportation Commission is determining which streets would need these signs next year, according to Nappa.

The ultimate goal is to install around 20 of these speed signs along other streets in the city – with the commission recommending that Southold budget around $ 90,000 for all signs. The city will look at budgeting for the rest in next year’s spending plan, Supervisor Scott Russell said.

“I know there is a huge demand to tackle speeding tickets,” said Russell. “Our police service is somewhat limited and we have 495 miles of track in Southold so it’s very difficult to cover everything, so you look at these solutions. Everything might not work, but you have to try.”

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