Patchogue Village trustee Jack Krieger has unveiled a proposal to bring parking meters to the downtown business district to address a lack of adequate parking while generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.
Village officials say the problem is twofold. Many employees who work downtown park near their jobs all day for free, taking up most of the village’s parking by 9 a.m., officials said. Also, local restaurants have brought nonresidents into the downtown area. The two have “created a need to increase parking supply,” Krieger said last week in a village board meeting when he released the plan.
“We need to spread people out so that customers and not owners or employees are taking all the spaces,” he said.
Krieger’s proposal does not explain how workers would be affected during work shifts.
The village will accept written comments about the proposal until Aug. 6. A vote is expected at a later date.
The meters would be scattered throughout downtown, costing 25 cents per half-hour, and $5 to park overnight. Village officials have not decided whether to have two- or four-hour parking limits.
The meters are expected to generate about $500,000 annually with the money going toward lighting, security, cameras and landscaping. There are 2,000 downtown parking spaces.
David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, said he acknowledges meters are needed. “Our biggest concern is parking for employees without penalizing them,” he said.
Free downtown parking except on Main Street for village residents with residential stickers in their windshields is expected to continue.
Details of the plan, including accommodations for workers, are still being negotiated, officials said.
Village officials said top-of-the-line meters with the latest technology would be used, allowing residents to pay for parking from their cellphones or with credit cards.
Port Jefferson, Huntington, Babylon, Lindenhurst and Great Neck use similar meters, officials said.