|Shelter Island Reporter
March 14, 2002
Go and be heard
Hope springs eternal. From our perspective
that should be the motto of the members of the Shelter Island-based Citizens
for a South Fork Ferry. The group is pushing for a New England-to-South
Fork feny to alleviate some of the traffic on our Island caused by people
who are using it as bridge between forks.
The concept is simple: A ferry from New London,
Connecticut would provide direct service to East Hampton for New Englanders
who are trying to reach the South Fork and vice versa. Cross Sound Ferry,
which provides service between Connecticut and Orient Point on the North
Fork, already has a terminus at New London. And thereís a defunct fish
factory in Amagansett, off Gardiners Bay, that has the depth to accommodate
large vessels and the access to main roads that already are clogged in
part from the vehicles that had just used Shelter Island as a bridge. Cross
Sound Ferry is all for the idea.
But some South Forkers arenít buying that
logic and their county legislator, George 0. Guldi, who could become our
legislator after the new district lines are drawn, has said publicly, in
so many words, that a South Fork ferry will never happen. East Hampton
Town Supervisor Jay Schniederman feels the same way.
This doesnít have to be an us vs. them issue
if we work together to solve what is a much bigger problem than bridge
traffic on Shelter Island -- the East Endís infrastructure cannot handle
its burgeoning population and the influx of daytrippers, house guests and
Read Mr. Hampleís Prose and Comments piece
and Mrs. Shillingburgís letter to the editor this week. They present logical
arguments such as: a New England-South Fork ferry would reduce eastbound
traffic from the East Hampton/Southampton border. Travelers whose destination
is west of Amagansett would be traveling in the opposite direction of the
We acknowledge that life would change for
folks who live near the terminus in Amagansett. But life has changed for
every East Ender during the last 2t) years as our towns have turned from
sleepy, relatively unknown and undeveloped communities into vacation home
and tourist meccas. It is unfortunate but fair that some of the still quiet
nooks and crannies should shoulder some of the burden.
The question is, how do we get the South Forkersí
attention and make them understand that this ferry would benefit everybody?
A good place to start is tonightís SEEDS meeting at the school at 6:30
p.m. Weíre counting on the Citizens for a South Fork Ferry to fight our
battle on the front lines but it is up to all of us to make our voices
heard. There will be similar meetings in all of the East End towns, including
East Hampton and Southampton. Our participation cannot stop at the ferry
gates. The squeakiest wheel gets the oil. And to all of you naysayers who
live in this community, we have one thing to say: if you put your energy
into supporting this cause rather than poo-pooing it, weíll have a better
chance for success.