Jackie Knoepffler of Blue Point lives only two blocks from the beach, but says she can't wait for summer to end.
The summer months mean a seemingly never-ending stream of cars on Davis Avenue, the street where she has lived for 41 years, Knoepffler said. At one end of the road is a Brookhaven Town boat marina. Nearby, on Middle Road, is Flo's Luncheonette, a popular eatery open only during the summer. And Brookhaven's Corey Beach is less than a mile away.
Knoepffler, 64, a retired teacher and librarian, said traffic from the marina, Flo's and the beach spill onto Davis Avenue as drivers search for parking. And it ruins the summer for her, she said.
“The weekends are constant traffic; at times the cars do go very fast,” Knoepffler said, adding she and her husband Peter spend some weekends at a house upstate to escape the Long Island summer. “I can’t tell you the amount of stress this has caused me the last few years.”
Knoepffler has waged a one-woman campaign to press Brookhaven Town officials to make changes that might discourage parking on her street and divert traffic elsewhere. In recent years, she has sent letters and emails to town officials asking them to enforce housing codes and install no-parking signs or speed bumps. She said nothing has been done.
Town officials said they disagree with her assessment, pointing to the installation of no-parking signs on Davis Avenue in recent years. Town Councilman Neil Foley, a Blue Point resident who represents the community on the town board, said police are called when parking problems are reported by residents.
“People, unfortunately, are parking in places where they shouldn’t,” Foley said. “More people are coming down there. It can be upsetting to the year-round community. We’re trying to find a happy balance.”
Knoepffler said new parking restrictions affect residents as well as visitors. “Which means I can’t park there, either,” she said. “A few of the neighbors say they don’t want a no-parking sign because they want to park there, too.”
A town parking lot on Middle Road is open to Brookhaven residents with a permit or non-residents who pay a fee. Foley said officials are “talking about different possibilities to alleviate parking down there.”
Deputy town attorney David Moran said Brookhaven has cracked down on code violations that contribute to the area's parking problems, such as homes with illegal accessory apartments. He said the town last year charged a Davis Avenue family with having more than the maximum two boats moored at their private boat slip. The family pleaded guilty and agreed not to violate the code, Moran said.
Connor Vigliotti, co-owner of Flo’s Luncheonette, said traffic and parking issues appear to have decreased so far this summer, although he added that could be because of poor weather on many weekends.
“They have plenty of Town of Brookhaven public safety [officers] there issuing tickets, and cops making sure that the parking is taken care of,” Vigliotti said. “I think through the years, they’ve done more than their fair share to accommodate the neighborhood.”