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Parking tickets given in error are voided

The Wyandanch Long Island Rail Road station, at

The Wyandanch Long Island Rail Road station, at Straight Path and Long Island Avenue, off Acorn Street, is seen on Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: J.C. Cherubini

Babylon Town has voided about 60 parking tickets issued last Thursday for vehicles in a Wyandanch Long Island Rail Road parking lot, with a town spokesman saying they were written in error.

A sign at the Merritt Avenue lot says it is open for both town residents with permits and unrestricted parking, and it's not clear that Babylon Town has the right to ticket in that lot, whose ownership is contested by LIRR.

The overzealous town enforcement officer who wrote the tickets "was notified of the error," spokesman Kevin Bonner wrote in an email.

Many of the tickets were issued to commuters who live outside the town and were parked in the 127-space lot, one of two near the station that still offers unrestricted public parking. Fifty unrestricted spaces remain south of the train tracks on Long Island Avenue.

The station is popular with commuters from Dix Hills and Melville who are close but not part of Babylon Town. Spots that were traditionally free and open to all were cut back over the summer as LIRR opened a pay garage and the town reserved 878 outdoor spots for residents with permits.

Those restrictions went into effect Sept. 1. The town issued warnings until Oct. 1, when it began writing $75 tickets.

Dumbfounded commuter Frank S. Schatz, a Town of Huntington resident who takes the LIRR to Manhattan and received two tickets despite being parked legally, sent an email to Newsday that included a dictionary definition of "unrestricted" along with 17 synonyms for the word.

He also contacted the Babylon Town attorney's office. "Kudos to the town attorney to recognize there was a mistake and rectify the situation," he said Monday.

About 1,300 town residents have applied for parking permits, which are free, Bonner said.

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