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Village To Hear Parking Woes, Ideas

To deal with as many as 150,000 cars in the lots alone, officials call parking summit to address concerns and flesh out alternatives.

East Hampton Village will hear parking concerns and ideas at a forum later this month to discuss with the public everything from instituting a paid parking system to leaving things as is.

On Wednesday, village officials announced it has planned for discussion of parking regulations in the business center on March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Emergency Services Building meeting room. 

"The purpose of this informal discussion is to listen to comments and suggestions concerning parking in the Reutershan and Schenck parking lots and on Main Street and Newtown Lane," the statement said.

The village faces a challenge in that parking is limited. "During the season there are about the same number of employees working in the business center as there are parking spaces," the statement said. "In addition the numbers of vehicles that enter the two 2 hour lots far exceed the number of spaces available."

Under current parking regulations the village enforces a two-hour parking limit in the Reutershan and Schenck Parking Lots. These regulations are in affect May  through November. The board recently . There is also a one hour parking limit on Main Street and Newtown Lane. The Lots parking is available for a 23 hour period.

At the height of last summer, in August, 152,121 cars enter the parking lots. Other figures are as follows:

  • May, 71,374
  • June, 98,462
  • July, 116,483
  • September, 81,114
  • October, 76,393
  • November, 61,057

The village police department recently brought up the idea of using and then generates a ticket for those who exceed the allowed times. The idea was to try to cut down on a labor-intensive, and therefore costly, task.

While the village board is not recommending any alternatives at the coming meeting, they want to hear from businesses, employees and customers.

The village has already gathered a list of alternatives (available in the PDF attached to this article from the village) that range from changing the parking limits to a maximum of three hours in the lots to install a paid parking system.

If you cannot make the meeting, the public was asked to contact the village through mail or email with comments.

Yearounder February 29, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Leave it as is. There are no magic bullets for trying to deal with the number of people out here in the summer with inadequate infrastructure. It's the same old story everywhere on the east end. Until someone with a big "set" addresses this problem the right way , we are always going to have this issue. Perry Duryea tried to address these concerns years ago and got laughed out of office. Guess who's laughing now?
tm February 29, 2012 at 09:44 PM
how do you "address this problem the right way"?
Lynne Scanlon February 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Clearer signage indicating where long-term parking is would help. I can't even explain to people how to find the entrances. This might be one of those instances where LARGER signs might be called for.
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) February 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM
On Facebook: Jameson Jacob: year rounder is correct. the plate reader idea is a violation of privacy. also, if a plate is suspended for an insurance oversight, a person can expect to be arrested as soon as they return to their car. the best way to avoid dealing with the parking problem in east hampton village is to avoid east hampton village all together. i have employed this method, and it works beautifully for me.
Yearounder February 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM
The "right way" would be to build infrastructure (proper roads and parking) to handle all of the people that flock to this area, SAFELY. We would never do that b/c we like our little country village the way it is, which is fine. But, you can't complain about the parking/overcrowding AND refuse to to build the proper infrastructure to handle them. It makes no sense.
laszlo Lowenstein February 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Charge for parking in designated Village lots. Local workers should be able to purchase low cost monthly parking rights with proof of workplace (e.g., an address on their pay stub); day trippers have to pay the day rate at the meter. Cities like Portland, OR, use solar powered meters that are effective and cost efficient and cover multiple parking spaces so you only need a handful of meters to cover the whole lot. This disincentive (the cost and added hassle of paying) will encourage people to walk or bike to the Village. New bike racks should be added (consider a design competition among local architects to come up with some new bike rack ideas; NYC did this years ago with award winning designs by people like David Byrne of the Talking Heads). Maybe we can get Taylor to come back to the Village on her bike?
Lynne Scanlon February 29, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Twice this past week I have driven through both short-term parking lots and been unable to find a parking space, and so drove to Amagansett to go to the hardware store and to buy groceries. Maybe it would be a good idea to incentivise long-term parkers to park in long-term parking instead of adding yet another disincentive to the pile of disincentives that keep visitors and local shoppers out of the village already.
Emily Bee February 29, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I use Jacob's method and avoid parking in the village downtown altogether. It's even bad to have to drive through in season. Instead of having cars drive in circles looking for a spot, why not put a one way road in the Reutershan lot leading to the long term lot behind the playground. It usually has spaces, and will fix the problem of people who keep driving around the lot in circles looking for nonexistant spaces.
Elaine Jones March 01, 2012 at 03:54 AM
On January 25th of this year I went to Special Effects in East Hampton to get my hair done. There are no handicap parking spaces there so I put my sticker up and parked on the corner in a one hour parking space, thinking I would be done. There was plenty of parking spaces available. I came out ten minutes over the hour and there was a parking ticket for $80. I was told that they don't enforce the parking in the winter there, but I guess they do.
Walter Noller March 01, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Return of the Jitney for the express purpose of avoiding what we now have. What we DON"T need is another money making device for the village at the expense of hard working people, already overtaxed. Concern of privacy is another important issue. We have enough cameras already. That said, I want to see the town invest in a convenient transport to and from the long term lots as well as in and out of the villages. We had it before and it became the Jitney, but I strongly believe a shuttle service with bike racks would be utilized so much so that it would not only employ drivers, it would.. and here's the issue at heart, reduce the traffic in town, thereby making shopping more delightful. Of course, the merchants would benefit, if only we had places we could afford. Perhaps "loaner" bikes could be provided as well, as done in other areas.. That may be a problem, however. Bottom line, make it easy to get around and people will use it, but don't find another way of making money on the backs of your citizens..
Preliator March 01, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Port Jeff has a wonderful paid parking system, maybe the time has come for the village to adopt the same idea to offset the costs of all the traffic cops needed in the busy summer season.
Tell No Lies March 01, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Why don't they use the high school as a parking lot paid of course in the summer. The money then can be regenerated back into the village or the school, with shuttle service to the village . They should use the Reutershan lot for employees that work in the village. You have shuttle service back & forth to the beach why not the village ? It would also lessen the traffic comming in and out of the main streets on both ends of the parking lot. I know that store owners are worried that it would infringe on business not really,because they will still shop just like they are still going to the beach with the shuttle service.
Lynne Scanlon March 01, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Tell No Lies may be on to something. What about that parking lot behind the middle school on Newtown Lane being dedicated to free employee parking? I doubt employers in the village would want employees to monopolize the Reutershan lot all day and make it more difficult for shoppers (quick stop and/or browsers). Also, I am not sure about the law regarding school property and commerce on that property.
Tell No Lies March 01, 2012 at 02:17 PM
That is true I forgot about the law regarding school property . I know they were thinking about using the school for parking for the concert that never was even though it was it was only for a few days how was that going to work ,I don't remember?
Tom Friedman March 01, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I work in the village 365 days a year. I am in and out of the reutershan lot several times a day. I usually have no problem finding a parking place. It may be a bit tighter on weekends during the non summer months. In the summer primarily the weekends are the problem and even then it seems to be intermittant. During the week there seems to always be a spot. I had always thought that parking for locals could be handled by buying an annual pass but Larry Cantwell has told me it won't work and from the explaination in the article above perhaps it won't. I have come to ther conclusion that a ticket dispenser as we have now with the capability of taking money or a credit card that will charge a $1.00 ($.50) fee every time you go in and dispense the same type of ticket given out by the machines showing the payment and the time will at least pay for the expense of the officers who will have to patrol the lots. Yes there is a problem. All destination locations like those on the East End have the problem. Contact the vacation spots all around the country and find out how they handle the parking in their communities.
S.B. Bonacker March 01, 2012 at 04:53 PM
There has to be a more permanent solution for employees who work in the village and park in the two lots (off-season) hogging the spots all day. I find it insane that in February, when I come to shop at Waldbaums, there are no spots and I circle and circle (and give up & go to Amagansett instead). I actually have better luck with parking in the middle of August, because the spots turn over quicker and the Traffic Control Officers are in everyone's face. That is a good idea about turning the Middle School lot into a temporary lot for the summer, but a real solution is needed year round - the village employees need to get out of these lots because their own businesses are losing shoppers who can't park!
tm March 01, 2012 at 05:21 PM
where do you propose the people who live and work in the village park, so they arent "hogging" spaces?
Barbara Borsack March 01, 2012 at 05:41 PM
This conversation points to the very problem at hand - there are as many opinions about how to deal with the parking problem as there are residents! There are no simple solutions and many of those issues raised have already been discussed at length. As someone said, many places have this issue and we have been in touch with many other places to see how and what they are doing to solve it. I would hate to see paid parking as I think that makes it more difficult for local residents to make use of the commercial area. But I think the board is open to ideas and thus the forum. Perhaps someone out there has a brilliant idea that has not yet to come to light! It's a problem we all know well. The solution is not easy to find though! Keep the ideas coming. And please bear in mind the the town and the village are two separate governments.
Preliator March 01, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Well you can't forget the village is basically the same layout it had in the 17th century, it is what make it the village the village. You are confined by space and costs so no matter what anyone does there is no easy solutions; some people are going to be unhappy no matter what you do. The burden is to find the best solution that fits a particular problem and the right one may not always be the popular one and as always it is going to take time, discussion and a healthy dose of trial and error to get to where you want to be.
Barbara Borsack March 02, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Elaine-you are absolutely right! As a matter of fact that is being addressed and hopefully will be accomplished very soon.
Barbara Borsack March 02, 2012 at 03:06 PM
You are absolutely right - there is no magic bullet and no solution will please everyone. The system now in place may be the best - but it seems worthwhile to re-think things every few years and make sure there isn't some new technology out there that might be worth exploring. And public input is always a good thing!
MARTIN DREW March 02, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I am currently promoting the " bikes at train stations" for rent by anyone who chooses to use them . Municipalities can take the lead role or private investors can make it happen . A survey said 75% of people want more train service ... The rent a bike idea would service local business and beaches in a parking friendly way . As infrastructure to Transportation ; think outside the car ; ride a bike ; )
Elaine Jones March 05, 2012 at 04:37 AM
These blogs are fantastic. Thank you so much to Barbara Borsack and the village leaders. I was called by Larry Cantwell after my blog was posted and he said there is something being done about the handicap parking on Newtown Land in that area. The village people are so willing to listen to advice. I like Tell No LIes idea. Where is there a parking lot in the village that you could have a shuttle service to and from the stores?

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