|Shelter Island Reporter
March 14, 2002
Letters to the Editor
Keep New England -
South Fork ferry
on the table
To the Editor:
Islanders who are concerned about development
and transportation issues on the East End need to come to the SEEDS (Sustainable
East End Development Strategies) meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight
at the Shelter Island School.
The major issue for Shelter Island is, of
course, the use of the Island as a bridge between New England and the Hamptons.
At least 25 percent of the people in vehicles using the Cross Sound Ferry
use the Shelter Island ferries to complete their trip. As a result, ferry
lines on Fridays in Greenport and in the Heights on Sundays during the
summer are unmanageable. Long lines now are.continuing throughout the week
in the summer, and people who live here year-round have noticed long ferry
lines throughout the year.
Many Islanders recognize that a workable solution
is for a ferry to run from New London to the South Fork. The Cross Sound
Ferry Company has explored the economic viability of this answer and is
prepared to implement it with a terminus at Napeague State Park in Amagansett.
The advantages are that New England visitors
to the Hamptons would have their trips reduced by several hours, they would
not have to wait in any lines and they would not be adding traffic to the
South Fork because that is already their destination. Other advantages
are that the traffic passing through Orient, Greenport, Shelter Island
and North Haven during heavy travel times would be reduced by one quarter.
Unfortunately, the people of East Hampton
are dead set against a ferry coming into their town. They claim we are
just trying to shift our traffic problems to their roads and the people
who would find convenience in a ferry from New England to the South Fork
are all gamblers.
From the beginning of the SEEDS process, they
have demanded that a ferry to the South Fork must be off the table. They
become quite rabid when the subject is raised.
It is very important, therefore, that Islanders
who feel that we have a stake in this transportation issue be at the meeting
tonight to make sure that a ferry to the South Fork from New England is
very much on the table and is presented in a reasonable and rational manner.
West Neck Road