Tuckahoe Road runs through the Southampton, N.Y., property, requiring golfers to cross it six times during one round. A proposal to reroute the road has proven unpopular among residents, however, who say the drive is one of the “most beautiful roads in all of the Hamptons.”
A proposal to eliminate the portion of Tuckahoe Road that runs through the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., was met with strong opposition from a standing-room-only crowd of residents at a town board meeting, the Long Island, N.Y., Newsday reported.
The golf club’s president, Brett Pickett, said that heavily traveled Tuckahoe Road presents safety concerns for golfers who have to cross it six times for one round of golf. He said the club would replace the portion of the road north of County Road 39 at its expense with another that would go around the perimeter of the club, Newsday reported.
As part of the proposal, which was presented to the board for the first time on August 4, the club would make a $6 million donation to a community investment fund for projects throughout the town, and a $1 million contribution to the Tuckahoe school district. Pickett said the money will have to be raised, Newsday reported.
“We have a very serious safety problem,” Pickett told the board. “Tuckahoe Road cuts right through the center of our property.” He added that to play a round of golf, golfers “have to cross it six times” when there is “a high volume of commuters.” Pickett said the possibility of a “tragedy” happening with a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle is inevitable, Newsday reported.
“There are intoxicated drivers speeding and weaving onto the grass, and golf balls hitting and narrowly missing the cars of unsuspecting drivers,” Pickett said.
But residents and others who spoke at the work session objected to closing a road that they said provides motorists with bucolic views, and replacing it with another that would attract more traffic and noise, just to satisfy golf club members, Newsday reported.
At least one local official echoed their concerns. “You’d be rerouting one of the most beautiful roads in all of the Hamptons,” said Sheila Comparetto, a member of the Southampton Town Landmarks and Historic District Board.
Mary Welker, who lives next to the club, said it has been a good neighbor. “We all have benefitted from the prestige of having a world-famous golf club in our midst,” Welker said, adding that “the interest of a few should not change the lives of residents.”
Pickett said the proposal was far from a final plan and that the club is open to suggestions for tweaking it. Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman noted that a traffic study and public hearing would be among many necessary requirements before the proposal could come under serious consideration by the board, Newsday reported.