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Landscapers and the Law

Wed, 08/04/2021 - 17:46


One source of frustration and risk on the roads here could be easily fixed. This is the disruption created by landscapers’ trucks and trailers parked smack in the way, blocking one lane and forcing drivers and bicyclists into an unnecessarily risky position. The law is already on the police’s side in this — the puzzle is why it is not being enforced.

The landscapers’ trucks are everywhere — and getting bigger. Their crews apparently are indifferent, matching the police’s apathy. Ordinary drivers going from place to place and cyclists riding for exercise and pleasure are not as happy. One wag recently observed that he should forgo getting a beach-parking permit and instead slap a made-up landscaping firm name on the side of his car and park “anywhere the hell I wanted.” He has a point; in an area so obsessed with where vehicles are left and for how long, it is an obvious contradiction.

Unloading and loading vehicles briefly stopped in roadways is allowed by law; leaving them there for a span of time out of convenience while their occupants are working is not. Unfortunately, the landscapers know that the odds of being told by police to move are low and the chance they would be issued a citation about zero.

Things have only gotten worse as law enforcement has looked the other way. On Further Lane within East Hampton Town Police jurisdiction the other day, we saw two men apparently asleep in the cab as their truck forced eastbound traffic to move into the westbound lane. Heavy-equipment trailers now are routinely left in the road without the vehicle that took them there — no warning cones, and, because they are no longer connected to a source of electricity, no flashing hazard lights — and no workers in sight.

Our take is that if a property owner wants to have the lawn done professionally, it is their responsibility to be able to accommodate the landscaper’s vehicles. Businesses that provide these services must be more respectful of others. And, finally, police need to tell the landscapers to move along — and get out their ticket pads and pens if they do not. The roads are bad enough already.

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