The Village of Lindenhurst is making more moves to try to improve its downtown and increase foot traffic to businesses.
The village last month entered into a contract to purchase property to create more parking and will soon begin a walkability study for the downtown.
For the past few years the village has been attempting to revitalize a lagging downtown and in 2014 formed an economic development committee to address growing concerns over vacant storefronts and lackluster resident use of downtown businesses.
The committee in October released an analysis of the downtown by the Regional Plan Association, a Manhattan nonprofit. As part of its study, the RPA stated there is an “excess” of parking in the village.
However, a 2015 village survey found parking is a top concern for residents who believe more spots are needed for a successful downtown. In addition to the metered spots along South Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst has six municipal lots of varying sizes and regulations.
The village is now in contract to purchase property at 29-31 E. Hoffman Ave. and 104 S. High St. for $625,000. Village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane said the property, which has houses on it, will be made into a municipal lot primarily used for the downtown.
He said it’s unclear how many spaces the property will yield and that the village is awaiting an environmental study. The village also is still in negotiations to buy property on South First Street next to an existing municipal lot. That property is expected to add about 20 spots.
Lindenhurst is also using the RPA study to figure out ways to make the downtown easier to walk, Cullinane said. The village recently received a $200,000 grant from Suffolk County to fund the study, development and implementation of a walkability improvement plan.
The plan will likely include not only pedestrian safety measures, but ways to connect other nearby areas, such as the village park and LIRR parking lot, Cullinane said.
“Hopefully we can get our public spaces linked together with some kind of walkable avenue or maybe bike riding or something of that nature,” he said. “The more viable we make our downtown in terms of walkability and accessibility to some of our assets, the more energized it should be.”