The Town Board rejected a resolution Tuesday that would have barred vehicles from stopping on a Centerport road where photographers often gather for pictures of a pair of nesting bald eagles.
The town, responding to an emailed complaint about safety, had proposed banning vehicles from stopping on Centershore Road. The eagles often soar over the area in their pursuit of meals from Mill Pond. A car accident in March has been cited as an example of the potential hazard of photographers parking or stopping along the road.
But several speakers, including Rob Schwartz, founder of the Facebook group Bald Eagles of Centerport, suggested other ways of accommodating people who wanted to park and shoot photos.
Bruce Adams, a Northport resident and former harbormaster, said, “I have used this road and now use it to observe eagles. There are a number of safe parking spaces on Centershore Road. The town owns safe areas. Please arrange to improve those areas.”
One speaker suggested leasing parking slots in the large parking lot surrounding a motel. Still others, residents of the neighborhood not affiliated with the eagles group, expressed concerns about their ability to access their own property if parking space were limited. One speaker said that the March accident resulted from a driver who was distracted by a Canada goose crossing the road.
One idea, to create parking spaces in the small passive park at the corner of Centershore Road and Route 25A, drew opposition because of concerns about other wildlife living there.
After board members took turns saying, “I’m not inclined to support this,” they voted unanimously against the crackdown, and Schwartz, on his way out of the meeting room as they spoke, shouted “Thank you!” to the board.