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Free valet parking to be offered at downtown Huntington parking lot

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, seen here in

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, seen here in May 2013, issued a $189 million budget proposal for 2015 that would freeze pay for all elected town officials but raise the property tax levy by 2.9 percent. Credit: Daniel Brennan

The Town of Huntington plans to offer free valet parking soon at one of its downtown municipal lots, a new tactic to address the area's parking crunch.

The lot south of Main Street, between New and Green streets, will offer the parking option starting in about a month, Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said.

"We thought we'd give it a try," he said. "We're looking at alternatives such as a garage. Now a garage is very expensive and takes a number of years to build. This can be done right away."

The $50,000 program will be jointly funded by the town, the Town of Huntington Economic Development Corp., the Huntington Village Business Improvement District and the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, a consortium the town coordinated in 2012 to look at local parking issues.

LAZ Parking New York/New Jersey will run the operation. The days and times of the pilot program are being worked out.

Valet parking could increase the capacity of the 215-space lot by as much as 40 percent, in part by putting vehicles closer together, town officials said.

"All of us in the consortium remain committed to identifying and implementing a variety of measures to improve the parking situation in the village," Petrone said. "Given what the experts have said about the potential to increase capacity, valet parking is an option certainly worth testing."

Recently, town officials implemented other changes the consortium recommended, including multispace parking pay stations on Main Street, New York Avenue and at the Long Island Rail Road station in Huntington Station. They also changed the hours for which metered parking is active. Municipal parking lots remain free.

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