Permit parking weighed for Merrick 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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Hempstead Town officials will consider next month reserving parking spaces for town residents only at the Long Island Rail Road's station in Merrick.

The town unveiled a new resident-only pilot permit-parking program at the Bellmore station on Sept. 28. At that station, officials will reserve 227 out of 1,833 spaces for town residents with permits, beginning Oct. 22.

The Hempstead Town board will hold a public hearing on the possibility of such a program at the Merrick station, which has 1,532 spaces, on Nov. 13 during its 10:30 a.m. meeting in the Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion, adjacent to Hempstead Town Hall, at 1 Washington St.

"We are confident that this new program will result in more parking opportunities for Town of Hempstead residents at the Merrick station," Supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement.

Community leaders have been asking town officials for more than two years to implement permit parking at the Merrick and Bellmore train stations. Some residents have complained that commuters from Suffolk County and the Town of Oyster Bay have made it difficult for local residents to find spots in the stations' parking lots on weekday mornings. Out-of-towners drive to those two stations instead of their local stations because it is a cheaper fare into New York City, residents say.

Under the program being considered, identical to Bellmore's, a parking sticker issued by the town clerk's office would cost $3 annually and allow commuters living in the town to park in spaces reserved for permit parking only. Parking without a permit in a municipal lot that requires a permit can result in a total fine of $105.

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