How should Southold Town address parking problems?

The Southold Town Transportation Commission wants to address townwide parking problems.

The commission has encountered increasingly complex parking-related issues, chairman Neb Brashich said at Tuesday’s Town Board work session. These include a lack of signage directing visitors to municipal lots; cars that park in town lots for extended periods, making snow removal difficult; and cars lining narrow roads during events, according to a list of locations, issues and possible remedies the commission created.

Supervisor Russell noted that many complaints he receives boil down to parking, whether it’s people parking at road ends or issues with signs and permits. No hamlet in the town has enough parking, he said.

The commission suggested a few ways the town could address parking issues, such as public charrettes in each hamlet to generate ideas and support for different approaches. Other suggestions included parking time limits, parking meters and stronger enforcement and fines, as well as hiring an intern to research how similar problems have been tackled elsewhere.

Mr. Brashich said he’d also like to enlist the cooperation of local business owners and chambers of commerce — key players who market the area as a destination, which attracts more visitors and more cars.

The final chapter of the town’s comprehensive plan, which addresses transportation, is under development and the commission’s findings could be included, Mr. Brashich said. Public meetings will be held to discuss the chapter, which will also allow residents to point out parking issues and suggest solutions.

“It’s a unique situation in each hamlet, so it’s not a universal solution,” Councilwoman Jill Doherty said.

Councilman William Ruland said a plan that serves all the people needs to be found.

“From a business point of view, we want the people to go and enjoy all the things that we have,” Mr. Ruland said. “We just don’t necessarily want their cars.”

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Photo: Pike Street. (Credit: Kelly Zegers)