I love spending time in the Town of Port Jefferson. I also love being a motorcyclist. It seems that these two interests are at odds with one another at times.
The town, in an effort to accommodate all of it’s visitors, has made some terrific improvements that cater directly to the motorcycle community. I am thankful for the new additions.
This season, the Brookhaven parking lot – where I have always preferred to park and congregate – was resurfaced and striped with motorcycle only parking (Yay!) In addition, the Business Improvement District (BID) donated a few great picnic tables in this area. There are new recycling cans and benches, as well. These are all great improvements and are most welcomed!
Now, there is even talk of allowing non-Brookhaven resident motorcyclists to park for free in the lot. This is a big move and in my opinion falls under special treatment. It’s a move I think that the riding community should appreciate. This is a big score for out-of-towners.
And yet, there is still a divide.
Bye bye benches
Following a brief discussion at Monday’s business meeting of the Village Board, Mayor Margot Garant ordered the removal of four benches from the sidewalk along Main Street in front of The Gap. Outgoing Village Trustee Leslea Snyder, at her final board meeting, suggested removing the benches “for the ease of pedestrians” and “to see if [the benches] need refurbishing.” However, the measure was weighed by village officials as a way to prevent bikers from congregating along that section of Main Street.
By Dave Willinger
Port Times Record
As a motorcyclist, I don’t require special treatment. I am absolutely fine with universally enforcing parking and town codes. I am fine being treated as equal to all other patrons or visitors. And a such, I hate the characterization that being a motorcyclist makes me unequal and puts me squarely into the problematic category, should I choose to sit on a bench in town and drink my coffee.
I completely agree that sidewalks need to be clear to allow pedestrians to get around easily. That is a valid argument in any town. But let’s call a spade a spade here. Again, we’re talking about one group of undesirable congregants.
There is clearly a perception about motorcyclists here that is working against us. How do we work towards altering this idea that we’re a bunch of barnacles clogging up the streets in the little port town?