Fall traffic temporarily closes East End business

Tempers are flaring on the East End after another weekend of traffic gridlock due to pumpkin pickers.

The owner of Wickham's Fruit Farm in Cutchogue says he had to close his business on Saturday because of the traffic.

The owner of Wickham's Fruit Farm in Cutchogue says he had to close his business on Saturday because of the traffic. (10/17/16)

CUTCHOGUE - Tempers are flaring on the East End after another weekend of traffic gridlock due to pumpkin pickers.

Tom Wickham, the owner of Wickham's Fruit Farm in Cutchogue, says he had to close his business on Saturday because of the traffic.

"A lot of traffic got stopped farther west on both Route 25 and on Sound Avenue," he says. "There are two chokepoints now on that road, and people just can't reasonably get past. It just took hours for people to come from Riverhead out here. That's really changing the nature of our business."

Wickham says traffic is fine in the morning, but by 12 p.m., there is only a trickle of cars that can come out east beyond Mattituck. He says it's impacting his business, as well as the people who normally come out to pick apples.

Wickham adds that his business is not an entertainment-type farm. He says people go there to help him harvest the crop, but they just couldn't get there.

The increase in motorists, however, has proved to be fruitful for Stakey's Pumpkin Farm in Aquebogue. The owner says full parking lots on the weekends allows them to keep farming.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell says the East End has been working on regional solutions such as increasing and expanding train service. However, he says there would still be a need for local transportation, which could take time.

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