The Suffolk County Legislature’s budget working group voted 5-3 yesterday to restore funding in the county’s 2016 budget to revamp the traffic circle in Riverside.
The money for the $4 million project had been moved from the 2016 to the 2018 budget in County Executive Steve Bellone’s initial capital budget.
The capital budget will be up for a vote before the full county legislature June 2, after which Riverside Rediscovered, which circulated a petition last week asking to restore the funding, plans to hold a party at their office just steps from the traffic circle. The party begins at 6:30 p.m.
Riverside Rediscovered, a community group organized by master developers Renaissance Downtowns, is working to revitalize the blighted area surrounding the Riverside traffic circle. They gathered nearly 250 signatures on their petition since late last week.
When completed, the new traffic circle will be more egg-shaped than circular, and some approaches will be two lanes wide, easing the bottleneck that often occurs on Flanders Road as cars enter the circle.
Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, who serves on the budget working group and has been a major advocate for the traffic circle changes, was an advocate on the committee to restore the funding.
Southampton Town Board members also advocated for the funding to be put back in next year’s budget.
“We got good news today. I know a lot of neighbors in that area reached out, and I want to acknowledge their good work,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst at Tuesday’s town board meeting. “Your good work paid off. The circle will be realigned and the project will start next year.”
Riverside Rediscovered also celebrated on their change.org petition site.
“You made your voice heard and they listened! You helped get 4 million dollars back into the 2016 budget for the Riverside Traffic Circle,” they said. “Without your help this would not be possible. Congratulations neighbors!”