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Town Board may seek public input on banning parking along Sound Avenue

The Riverhead Town Board may once again seek public input on a proposal to ban parking on Sound Avenue, an idea that gained mixed reaction at a public hearing in 2019.

The idea was revived following a recent recommendation by the consultants overseeing Riverhead Town’s comprehensive plan. The consultant, who spoke at the April 7 Town Board work session, also recommended the town undertake a corridor study for Sound Avenue and other scenic and historic roadways in town.

The Town Board briefly discussed the parking situation again last Thursday.

Town attorney Erik Howard said the effort to ban parking was ultimately tabled in 2019 as the Town Board was set to welcome a new administration.

“Since then, the prior public hearing that was held has gone stale, it’s been too long,” Mr. Howard said. “In order to consider it again we’d need to put it up for a public hearing again.”

He said there was a “robust discussion” at that 2019 public hearing, but it eventually veered off into more of a discussion about traffic in general on Sound Avenue and less about the effect or benefit of limiting parking.  

“I think it’s ripe for continued discussion, especially in light of the upcoming agrotourism season,” he said.

Councilman Frank Beyrodt said he would like to hear from the farming community. He said several of the busiest farms along Sound Avenue, such as Harbes and Lewin, have already made efforts to curb on-street parking.

“I know there are problem areas up and down Sound Avenue,” Mr. Beyrodt said. “Twomey Avenue is one that really scares me across from the Cooperage [Inn] when they’re having their autumn festival. They’re isolated to maybe only a couple weeks, but I think that could really help to mitigate some people walking across Sound Avenue in really dangerous situations.”

Councilman Tim Hubbard said he did not think it was necessary to blanket the entire length of Sound Avenue as no parking, but rather look at specific areas that are problematic. He encouraged fellow board members to take mental notes while driving along the road of problem areas.

Police Chief David Hegermiller also said that farms such as Lewin and Harbes have addressed parking issues. In one location near Harbes, the chief said he posted a no parking sign on the south side of Sound Avenue that says on the authority of the chief of police. 

“We definitely have to take a look at it and see what places need it the most,” he said.

Cliff Road parking ban

The Town Board will hold a public hearing on a proposal to prohibit parking on a section of a residential Wading River road. The proposal would limit parking on Cliff Road East “from the intersection of Dog Wood Road easterly to its eastern terminus, including upon any portion of the terminus.”

The public hearing would be held May 18.

Town attorney Erik Howard said there’s one homeowner in particular who’s been regularly unable to get in or out of their driveway due to parking at the end of the road.

“I believe they’re elderly and there’s some concern about getting out in the event of some kind of emergency,” he said.