The Town of Islip is amending its controversial parking meter program in downtown Bay Shore to include more free parking in some areas after receiving complaints about the time and inconvenience for shoppers and merchants.
The parking meters in the back lots behind Main Street will become active after 6 p.m. on weekdays instead of starting at 9 a.m., town officials announced Friday. The new schedule will go into effect by the end of next week, officials said.
“It is a fluid program,” Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said, adding that the changes came in response to feedback from local business owners and residents.
The meters still will run on weekends, starting at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sundays.
The town also announced it has added more free weekday parking spaces to Lot B behind Main Street at Mechanicsville Road, and more employee spaces behind the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts on Main Street.
The town also is adding more security cameras to the Long Island Rail Road station parking lots and kiosk shields, officials said Friday.
The parking meter program has generated some controversy since its inception as shoppers and business owners complained about the cost and inconvenience. The first meters were installed at the Maple Avenue docks in summer 2015; at the LIRR station in January 2016; at the Bay Shore Marina in June 2016; and on Bay Shore’s Main Street in November.
Maria Negron, owner of Pride Embroidery on Main Street, praised the parking meter program as “so convenient” for her customers, who she said used to circle the block looking for parking. “Now my customers park right in front,” she said at the news conference. “It really has made my business more available to the general public.”