The town of Oyster Bay’s commuter lots have fewer permit holders while town revenues have increased after a 400 percent fee hike passed in February.
The town has issued 22,030 permit stickers in 2018 under the new pricing compared to 41,202 issued for 2017, according to figures provided by Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr.’s office, which issues the permits.
The town has 6,447 parking spaces at its commuter lots in Bethpage, Glen Head, Hicksville, Locust Valley, Massapequa and Syosset, figures provided by the town clerk’s office show.
Altadonna, who said he was against the fee increase, cited complaints he has received about the higher fees, which were approved by the town board.
“We are now charging more for a service with the inability to provide a parking space,” Altadonna said. Town officials have for years issued more permits than available spaces.
Permits for residents in unincorporated areas are valid for a two-year period running through March 31, 2020, regardless of when they are purchased. Permits for residents of incorporated villages are valid for a one-year period running through March 31, 2019.
While fewer permits have been issued, revenue has increased under the higher prices to $1.6 million in 2018 from $765,535 for permits issued for the 2017 period, including two-year permits issued in 2016. Under the new pricing, resident permits that had been $20 for two years now cost $100 for non-seniors. Village permits for non-seniors went up to $120 from $80. Senior residents pay discounted prices.
Oyster Bay Deputy Highway Commissioner John Bishop said in January the fee increase could raise an additional $1.5 million annually, if the number of people purchasing the permits stayed the same.
Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said Monday that the higher prices brought fairness to the parking lots because they are heavily subsidized by taxes.
“It was essential to create a situation where people who use the system pay the maintenance,” Saladino said.
He said the town had created a task force to find ways to increase the number of parking spaces.
Town officials are still looking into how the new fee structure was being implemented and at the revenue generation, Saladino said. “It’s still young in the process,” he said.
Commuters getting off the train at the town’s Syosset commuter lot earlier this week said they weren’t happy about paying more to park, but had nowhere else to go.
“We have to pay more for parking when there hasn’t been much done to create more parking,” said Brett Weinblatt , 36, a real estate professional from Syosset. “Finding a parking space every morning is a struggle."
Raymond Lin, 38, an information technology worker from Syosset, said the lot gets filled up around 7:10 a.m. “I don’t think there’s enough spots."
“I have to park here because I have no choice,” he said.
Commuter parking in Oyster Bay Town
Parking permits issued in 2018: 22,030
Parking permits issued in 2017: 41,202
Revenue generated in 2018: $1.6 million
Revenue generated for 2017: $765,535*
*2017 figures include 2-year permits issued in 2016