ELECTED OFFICIALS WEIGH IN
Ms. Jens-Smith said the types of businesses the town encounters changes every year, and the town works with its farmland and agricultural advisory committee so that when someone proposes a new farm stand, they try to work with them so that they are not impeding traffic coming onto or off Sound Avenue.
Mr. Russell said Southold Town has two major “choking points”: the Harbes location in Mattituck and the popular Lavender by the Bay farm in East Marion.
But he said the latter is probably worse in terms of traffic, because Main Road in East Marion has no [connecting] side roads, like Harbes’ does. On the other hand, he said, lavender farm traffic is only at its peak for about three weeks, whereas the Harbes farm congestion lasts about six or seven weeks.
“Parking is critical,” said Mr. Krupski, who is also a farmer. Businesses that open a new farm stand without providing adequate parking are exacerbating the problem, he said.
Mr. Krupski said drivers on Sound Avenue often try to take a shortcut by going up Penny’s Road just east of Northville Turnpike, only to discover it’s no shortcut.
Mr. Palumbo said he’s lived on the North Fork for about 20 years, since about the same time traffic issues started emerging.
“We’ve been discovered and it’s not going anywhere,” he said.
Visitors exit the LIRR in Mattituck. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)
Officials would like to encourage people to use public transportation. But that also involves getting the Long Island Rail Road and Suffolk County Transit to cooperate.
Mr. Palumbo said the LIRR has been using the South Fork as a pilot for increasing train schedules.
He believes the North Fork can benefit from this in about 15 to 20 years.
“All we need now is for the ridership to increase,” he said.
After that, the next step would be coordinating bus routes with train schedules to get people from the trains to their homes, he said.
Uber and Lyft also can help with that so-called “last mile,” he said.
When asked if it was possible to provide the LIRR with more incentive to adjust service levels, Mr. Palumbo said he state already subsidizes the LIRR to the tune of $26 million annually.