Parking permits required near NUMC, Merrick LIRR station

The Long Island Rail Road's Babylon line stops The Long Island Rail Road's Babylon line stops in Merrick just north of Sunrise Highway on Merrick Avenue. This was on Aug. 2, 2011. Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

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The Hempstead Town Board has approved resident-restricted parking near Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow and permit parking at the Merrick LIRR station in an effort to address resident complaints about people from outside the communities taking up the limited number of parking spots.

The board voted 5-0 to pass both resolutions after two separate hearings Tuesday. Councilmembers Dorothy Goosby and Edward Ambrosino were absent.

State law prohibits townships from issuing parking permits for public roadways, but Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law six months ago to allow Hempstead to create the parking-permit district. Residents have complained that their streets have been clogged by cars parked by hospital employees and patients since NUMC closed a parking garage in June 2011.

"This law has been a time in the making," Councilman Gary Hudes said. "This law would be a great benefit to the residents in the community."

Residential parking permits will be required on designated roadways during specified time periods. There will be no fee for the permits, and residents would receive four visitor-pass parking permits. Non-permit holders parking in the area will face a $125 fine that increases with multiple offenses. The new parking restrictions take effect on May 1. The signs for restricted parking will be on Nottingham Road, Jane Court, Florence Court, Erma Drive, portions of Roosevelt Avenue, First Street and Second Street, Franklin Avenue between Hempstead Turnpike and Second Street, Third Street between Hempstead Turnpike and Lincoln Avenue.

NUMC president and chief executive Victor Politi said at the hearing the hospital's parking garage was demolished to make way for 500 more parking spots available by April 30.

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The town board also authorized reserving 215 parking spaces at the Long Island Rail Road station in Merrick for town residents only. The restrictions will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. The permits were created to prevent nonresidents from parking in town-maintained commuter lots.

A parking sticker issued by the town clerk's office will cost residents $3 a year. Parking without a permit in a municipal lot that requires a permit can result in fines of $120. Permits will go on sale March 1; the program will go into effect on April 1.

"I'm elated that Merrick will now be getting permit parking at its train station," Claudia Borecky, president of the North and Central Merrick Civic Association, said after the hearing. "Local residents will now have a better chance of getting a parking spot in the morning."

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