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More talk, no action yet on ferry rerouting

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Ferry traffic correctly accessing the line to board North Ferry from Wiggins Street (at left) last August had to contend with drivers trying to cut into the line illegally from Third Street.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Ferry traffic correctly accessing the line to board North Ferry from Wiggins Street (at left) last August had to contend with drivers trying to cut into the line illegally from Third Street.

With only six weeks before Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer season, Greenport Village Mayor David Nyce has been speaking with North Ferry General Manager Bridg Hunt about rerouting ferry lines on the village side.

But don’t expect any major change to take place by the holiday weekend, the mayor said.

That’s because he needs to receive approval from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to access land it owns behind the East End Seaport Museum to stage vehicles waiting to board the ferry.

Although current staging calls for vehicles to access the ferry by turning south down Sixth Street from Route 25 onto Route 114 and then following that to Wiggins Street, many drivers either don’t know or don’t care to follow the intended route.

GPS devices direct them south onto Third Street from Front Street in the village. That not only causes tempers to flare among those waiting to enter the ferry line from Wiggins Street, but can result in a traffic backup on Third Street that can spill over onto Front Street.

There’s no way to block access to Third Street from Front Street because there are businesses operating on Third and it’s also an access route to get to the Seaport Museum.

“I really have to defer to [Mayor Nyce]” Mr. Hunt said, referring questions to the mayor  about when a rerouting might take place. North Ferry is willing to change the access route, but needs the mayor to take actions with the MTA and the Village Board.

At the same time, Mr. Hunt said he and Mayor Nyce have met with the Southold Town Transportation Committee to discuss rerouting and he described that meeting as “very, very productive.”

In the meantime, the ferry service provides personnel at very busy times to try to direct traffic on the Greenport side.

 

 

j.lane@sireporter.com