A recent Lindenhurst survey revealed that residents feel more parking is key to revitalizing the downtown, but a Suffolk County study has found that existing parking is underutilized and sufficient for the village.
The two studies were released by the Lindenhurst economic development committee at a meeting last week. The committee had conducted the resident survey last year in an effort to learn opinions on the village’s downtown.
There were 633 responses to the survey, with about 27,321 residents in the village as of 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
When asked about the things they did not like about the downtown, which has a high vacancy rate, the second most popular answer with 201 responses was “lack of parking.” Empty stores/vacancies was No. 1, with 273 responses.
When asked how they felt about the statement “I hardly shop in the village of Lindenhurst . . . because of lack of parking,” 466 respondents said they either strongly or somewhat agree. Asked if more parking would increase their downtown visits, 455 respondents said they strongly or somewhat agree.
Suffolk County conducted a downtown business district analysis for Lindenhurst late last year. In its parking analysis, the county noted the village has 200 municipal lot spaces and 401 on-street parking spots downtown.
The county took a snapshot of parking space use with a survey of spots during the late morning of a midweek day in December. Their analysis found that 45 percent of municipal lot spaces and 49 percent of on-street parking spaces were utilized, with a total use of downtown parking at 47 percent.
“These figures all indicate that there is adequate parking in downtown Lindenhurst,” the analysis concluded.
Committee members said they hope the feedback from residents and the county will help with a revitalization plan for the downtown. At the meeting — the committee’s first in nine months — members questioned their role in this process.
“I think all of us need to be talking about where it is we’re headed,” said committee member and former Assemb. Robert Sweeney. “We’ve been around for over a year now as a committee and I think it wouldn’t hurt us to figure out amongst ourselves what we want to accomplish and a time frame.”
Committee chair and village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane said the committee must first gather as much “basic information” as possible. He said the studies, which will be placed on the village’s website, will be discussed at the next meeting on June 29 at 7 p.m.