Lawmakers prep for traffic woes during fall pumpkin-picking season

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RIVERHEAD -

Suffolk County lawmakers are already preparing for fall traffic, and looking at ways to ease traffic on the North Fork during pumpkin-picking season.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith says traffic is a challenge in the fall.

This fall, the town will triple the amount of traffic control officers to nine, and it has asked more popular venues to secure extra parking. Jens-Smith adds that a long-term plan needs still to be figured out.

Scott Russel is the supervisor for Southold, which is the next town east. He says Southold farmers and residents get the short end of the stick.

"Local business are losing business because the traffic jams are choking out the traffic and people are not getting out as far east as they want to," Russel says.

Russel wants Sound Avenue widened, and likes the idea of using bike lanes to do that. Not everyone is on board.

Eve Kaplan, who owns the Garden of Eve organic farm on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, says alternative transportation and redirecting traffic is a better answer.

Farmers say it's an important season, and they have to make the most it, but they don't want to be a burden to the residents.

Officials say they may experiment with making all lanes of Sound Avenue one way, and Southold wants to stop allowing pedestrian crossings.

 

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