Some Bellport Villagers want to shed the New Jersey Avenue street name


Some Bellport Village, N.Y., residents are tired of saying they live on New Jersey Avenue.

For one, there are two New Jersey Avenues very close to each other in the same zip code, so receiving mail has been problematic, explains New Jersey Avenue resident Jenny Coffey.

(The other Jersey Avenue is off Beaver Dam Road, just north of the village.)

“We had a couple of things we ordered end up on the other side of New Jersey Avenue in North Bellport,” says Coffey, who’s been living in the village for four years.

Coffey became frustrated with her misplaced mail, and started talking to her neighbors, who also experienced the same issue.

But they also started talking about how New Jersey isn’t exactly representative of their village, says Coffey.

So she decided to spearhead a movement to change the street’s name.

“Almost every street in Bellport Village has such great names related to its history,” said Coffey, “We want to tie in another name that has history to our street.”

Last week, Coffey decided with a neighbor to walk their block to gauge the interest in a name change.

She said many people had positive feedback and even offered the name “Watkins,” because the parcels along New Jersey were once part of the Watkins Family Farm.

But some families were wary of the change, mainly of billing issues.

“There is fear that there will be a lot of work in changing [addresses],” says Coffey, “But I believe that some of us would be willing to volunteer ourselves to make it happen.”

Coffey presented her case for a name change at the village’s April meeting.

And she won over the support of Mayor Ray Fell.

“We are going to go through the process,” of what changes a street’s name entails,’ Fell said, “and if the majority of the people want to change the name, we will entertain it.”

Photo: The New Jersey Avenue sign at South Country Road in Bellport. (Credit: Michael White)