Shelter Island Reporter editorials

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | A view of Chase Creek last winter.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | A view of Chase Creek last winter.

One way only?
It can be infuriating to watch the wheels of government turning as if they’re greased by Crazy Glue, with issues stuck in permanent discussion or, worse, immobilized by official silence.

And then there are times when careful deliberation is called for. The latter has applied to a recent call to make New York Avenue a one-way street. Town officials and the Police Department have heard complaints of a dangerous confluence of fast cars, three abreast walkers and oblivious bicyclists.

Police Chief Jim Read, looking through records of the last five years, has said there have been no injuries and the only accidents have been of the fender-bender variety. He and other town officials have met with Stella Lagudis, general manager of Heights Property Owners Corporation, Councilman Ed Brown reported Tuesday.

For now, traffic calming methods will be tried, instead of just shutting down access one-way.

Some have said making New York Avenue one-way could be a logistical nightmare, especially considering how first responder vehicles would be affected. There’s something else, though. New York Avenue is one of the most beautiful roads on the East End.

Suitably, because it’s on Shelter Island, it’s a miniature jewel, taking you past a sloping green field to views of Chase Creek, Ice Pond, the old brick chimney and pieces of the quirky Shelter Island Country Club golf course.

It’s just a matter of seconds, travelling either way, but it reminds us every time we take it of the lovely and unique place we live.

To miss it, because it’s blocked in one direction, would be losing a pleasure that we don’t consider until we’re actually driving on the road. Seeing a one-way sign would remind us what we’re missing.

Some say this means nothing if a tragedy occurs. But the other ideas to make the road safer should be tried. It’s time for people to weigh in on what we’ll gain, and what we’ll lose, by going only one way.

Many Shelter Island residents have made commitments to serve, often with no compensation, on various boards and committees to give back to the community they love.

But in a few cases we’ve observed, some who have taken on responsibilities have found themselves overloaded with family and work commitments that pull them away from attending meetings of boards and committees they’ve pledged to support.

A single case of such a conflict involves Board of Education member Alfred Brigham Sr. (see story, page 6), a man of intelligence and ability who has found it often difficult, despite his wish to serve, to attend many meetings.

It’s understandably difficult to balance community service with family and work demands. But it’s critical that those who seek election or appointment to these important posts balance their time or give up their public roles until they can better exercise their responsibilities.

They owe it to the community and the others with whom they serve.