Heavy eastbound traffic in the morning has resumed in force this week, as the weather has thawed. While the so-called trade parade now runs year round, the ramp-up in activity to get houses, lawns and landscapes, and businesses ready for the summer season takes on an extra urgency as April approaches. Just 71 days remain until the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, so the pressure is on, and the sense is that it will only get worse.
There have been attempts to limit the flow of workers and their vehicles onto and off the South Fork, but these have had little success. A rail shuttle is promising, but useful only to those who do not need to bring tools, equipment, or supplies with them. A new commercial development in Wainscott has been pitched by its backers as an alternative, where construction and service companies could store their vehicles, rather than run them back and forth from UpIsland each workday. Neither of these will have enough of an impact.
If there were to be an answer to the traffic problem, it would have to come from attacking its root cause — overdevelopment. People on the East End have known for decades that strict limits to growth are the only way to preserve their cherished sense of place. The essential question is if there is the political will to actually do something about it.