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Syosset parking fix created new problems and will change, town decides

Lifting restrictions on parking on residential streets around the LIRR station created congestion in neighborhoods, officials said. The restrictions will be restored in two weeks.

May Affatato, of Syosset, holds a sign protesting

May Affatato, of Syosset, holds a sign protesting parking on residential streets near the Syosset LIRR station during a hearing at Oyster Bay Town Hall on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Ted Philips

Parking on the streets around the Syosset Long Island Rail Road station will be restricted again after the Oyster Bay Town Board voted Tuesday to reverse earlier actions that eliminated some of the parking limits.

Over the past year the town responded to commuter complaints by lifting some parking restrictions in the area in an attempt to alleviate the lack of parking at the station. That created a backlash among area residents who said their streets were inundated with cars.

“We’re going back to square one,” town deputy highway commissioner John Bishop said during a hearing Tuesday on restoring the parking restrictions.

Parking signs were taken down about nine months ago and will be put back up within two weeks, Bishop said in an interview. The signs restrict parking on residential streets from 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia said during the meeting the quest to help commuters with their parking struggles began about a year ago when a group of working mothers in Syosset complained they had to leave their homes at 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m. to get a parking space and couldn’t spend time with their children.

“We tried to do something to fix it,” Alesia said. “And as sometimes happens in a game of Jenga, when you move one brick, you topple the tower.”

The loosening of restrictions produced a “tidal wave of complaints” from area residents, Alesia said.

“People were extremely upset,” she said at the town board meeting. “It was having a very deleterious impact on their quality of life."

Linda Tiso, a retired insurance underwriter who lives near the station, said during the hearing that the parking has become “out of control.”

“This an attempt to solve the problems with the parking ... on the backs of the residents,” Tiso said of the previous loosening of restrictions.

May Affatato, 52, who lives near the Syosset station, took signs to the hearing that said “Stop Commuter Parking in Residential Neighborhoods.”

“The neighborhood is crowded, it’s like Queens,” Affatato said after the hearing. “It’s not pleasant to be at home, it’s not safe for kids.”

Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said the town will continue to seek solutions to the parking problem at the station and is looking for help from the state.

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