Chances are good if you are a frequent shopper at Stop and Shop, or use 25A on a regular basis, you’ve come across a recent addition to the landscape. Namely, the bright yellow “NO DELI PARKING” signs that now punctuate the entrance to the Northsport facility.
Beyond the signs, and depending on what time you happen to go by, you may also have noticed the roping off of parking spots within the Northsport parking lot, prohibiting anyone from parking there for any purpose.
Now, before I continue, I am fully aware that Northsport has every right to determine their own policies regarding the use of their parking lot. After all, it is their parking lot. However I have just one question: can we just be good neighbors and all get along?
I have not spoken to the owners of any of the establishments I will mention throughout this piece; but I do not feel it necessary to have spoken to them to adequately convey my opinion, an opinion I know is shared by others: grow up already and work it out amongst yourselves.
For years after the closing of the Top Gun rink, the parking lot adjacent to Northport Deli lay vacant; becoming a popular and convenient place to park for people patronizing the deli. Now obviously things have changed with the opening of Northsport; but people have grown accustomed to parking in those spots to avoid making the treacherous journey across 25A, which is about as safe as attempting to surf down Main Street during a rain storm.
The parking signage is a fairly recent development, given that Northsport has been in business at their current location for a few years now, but regardless of the timing of their “solution” I still believe there are better solutions then thumbing your nose at your neighbors and your community.
What I am getting at, is while Northsport is well within their rights to restrict their parking to their own patrons, they have gone to such ridiculous measures to keep those pesky deli customers from using their parking lot that they have now effectively rendered their parking lot useless for their own customers by roping off spots, and have created an adversarial, unfriendly and dangerous environment.
Moreover, when Northsport has an event or a tournament, the surrounding parking lots (Stop and Shop, Robke’s, Northport Deli etc.) are jammed with cars from people who are at Northsport. Let’s face it, there is no great rush to Stop and Shop on a Wednesday night barring a major natural disaster or impending food shortage. So for the owners of Northsport to put out their signs and their ropes, and then totally dominate the parking lots of their neighboring businesses is not only childish and unnecessarily hostile, but hypocritical in the most fundamental sense.
There is no reason that this childish behavior needs to continue. By closing their parking lot off, the owners of Northsport are indirectly putting patrons of the surrounding businesses in danger, while asserting their own prominence in an arrogant and irritating manner. Northport Deli is a popular spot for high school students during their lunch breaks; and instead of being able to walk from the adjacent parking lot into the deli, kids are now forced to make their way across 25A. I submit to the owners of Northsport: would you want your child crossing 25A for a sandwich where there is a better solution?
The owners of these establishments need to work out a compromise; whether it is payment, food, or some other form of mutually beneficial compensation. Until something like that occurs and produces a workable solution, I fear it is only a matter of time before someone is unnecessarily injured attempting to navigate their way around the intersection and associated parking lots.
As someone who has spent his entire life in Northport, and as someone who appreciates the consideration of others, I urge the owners of Northsport to start being good neighbors; work with their surrounding businesses, and work up a solution that benefits all parties involved, while helping to protect their patrons as much as possible.