The Glen Cove City Council may ban nonresident parking at two of its Long Island Rail Road lots and impose restrictions on other lots if the prohibition fails to alleviate a parking crunch.
Residents have complained about full lots, especially during the winter, when plowed snow sometimes covers spaces and inclement weather may spur more people to take the train, Mayor Reginald Spinello said.
“My first responsibility is to take care of the residents of Glen Cove,” he said.
The council is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on a proposal to reserve the city-owned north lots of the LIRR Glen Cove and Glen Street stations for city residents, with $250 fines for nonresidents caught parking there. Other spaces would remain open to anyone. Enforcement would be through license-plate checks.
If that approach fails, officials would consider asking LIRR permission to issue free or low-cost parking permits to residents who park at LIRR-owned and LIRR-regulated lots, with a limited number of more expensive permits for nonresidents, Spinello said. The dollar amount has not been discussed, but it still would not be enough to reimburse the city for plowing, repairing and patrolling the lots, the mayor said.
“We wouldn’t be doing anything different or unique than other municipalities,” Spinello said.
Most non-LIRR-owned parking lots at train stations charge for parking, LIRR spokesman Sal Arena said in an email.
Glen Cove resident Majid Navab, 62, said as he waited for an LIRR train early Friday at the Glen Cove station that he paid hefty fees to park at the Port Washington LIRR when he lived there and backs the residency-preference proposal. The annual parking cost for resident-restricted parking in Port Washington is $255.
LIRR rider and Glen Cove resident Heather Baxter, 28, a middle-school teacher in Queens, said as she arrived for her train that local residents should be given a preference because “my taxes go to maintain this lot.”
Councilman Efraim Spagnoletti, who regularly commutes from Glen Cove to Penn Station on the LIRR, backs the proposed changes but, if permits are necessary, would support only a “nominal fee” for nonresidents, because they already shell out hundreds of dollars for monthly LIRR passes.
“We want to be good neighbors,” he said.
Locust Valley resident Myriam Miluso, a sales account manager in Manhattan, said she does not like the proposed $250 fine but grudgingly understands the city’s desire to give residents preference on taxpayer-maintained lots.
Spinello said parking has increasingly tightened over the past few years at the city’s LIRR stations. A recent Newsday report on LIRR parking throughout Long Island found that rising ridership is causing more lots to fill to full- or near-capacity.
Glen Cove maintains all lots at the three LIRR stations in the city, but the LIRR owns all of the Sea Cliff station spaces and some of the Glen Street ones, and the agency has an agreement that requires some spaces at the Glen Cove station be open to nonresidents, Spinello said.
The LIRR does not allow municipalities to bar nonresidents from LIRR-owned lots and has veto power over proposals for fees on its lots, Arena said.
Those rules are why the city is starting with regulations on its own lots and only afterward may explore permits on other lots, Spinello said.