Assemb. Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) has brought great care and attention to Long Island's East End, but his letter requires some comment ["Expand East End train service," Sept. 8].
I'm writing this on what is locally called "Tumbleweed Tuesday," the day after Labor Day and the end of the big crush of the summer season.
Obviously, the enormous seasonal demand on transportation facilities is disruptive to a system that otherwise fulfills local needs up to a point. Trains that are crowded to the gills on summer weekends are often nearly empty once they reach the South Fork at other times of the year. It is not clear how expanding the system could be financed or maintained year-round on the additional revenue produced. Certainly, enormous subsidies would be required.
The sneeringly named "trade parade" is composed of skilled craftspeople who can make a living from the wages they are able to command on the East End, but who simply cannot afford to live there. Increased moderate-cost housing would go a long way to solving this traffic problem, but the ever-rising property values on the East End make this unlikely.
The problems of the East End are largely caused by its overwhelming popularity as a resort, second home, and partying destination three months a year. On one hand, this leads to a kind of prosperity, as money is comes in waves during the summer, but the concomitant problems do not have easy solutions. And it should be remembered that a federally funded, limited-access highway the length of the South Fork was firmly rejected by the community about a half century ago.
Fred Kolo, East Hampton