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Letter: The North Fork Overwhelmed

Traffic jam on Main Road near Lavender by the Bay last summer. Courtesy photo: East Marion Community Association

To the Editor:

I have been on the North Fork both summer and winter since I was a child.

I have never seen the NF so crowded as during the last two days. Endless lines of cars without a local sticker.

Traveling back from the NF Audubon plant sale in Southold the last two days has been a real eye opener and brought home the fact that we may have exceeded the carrying capacity of our community.

I saw every winery’s parking lot packed to capacity and the overflow all over the Main Road. Same with the breweries and restaurants. Even the north road had traffic back ups after it narrows eastbound.

We are as an island off the coast of New England yet connected to the mainland and NY without the mitigating control of water travel.

I know this is all good for our local economy and provides jobs but I am only pointing out that we need a comprehensive plan to deal with seasonal traffic.

If not then the North Fork may become less desirable to everyone, including the day trippers and the money they bring with them.

Soon, more often than not I am sure we will experience city like ‘grid lock’ as I observed Saturday in Southold Village.

I have friends that tell me in the last few days they cannot find parking in Greenport even though they live away from what is now downtown.

I feel closed in by all this traffic and I know other year round residents and seasonal people feel the same. The day-trippers are becoming overwhelming.

Please let our elected officials fine a way to mitigate the overcrowding and stress.

We all have ‘pride of place’ and must protect the North Fork in a way that protects business but also the lifestyle our residents both year round and seasonal.

Rick Kedenburg