Due to an editor’s error, the following letter was incomplete in this week’s edition of The Long Islander.
The letter appears here in full; Long Islander News apologizes for the error.
Huntington continues to be one of the best places to live, work and raise a family. However, in recent years traffic and parking in Huntington village have become an increasing burden on both merchants and residents. The Huntington Chamber has historically collaborated on and supported examining solutions for parking and congestion issues in Huntington Village and the rest of the Town.
Several years ago, the Town formed a Parking Committee to seek parking solutions. The Chamber was among stakeholder groups represented on the committee.
We thank all those who have exerted much effort on this committee. During the search for parking solutions there have been Requests for Proposals for a parking structure; none of the proposals has moved forward.
While the committee and the stakeholders in town have continued to seek solutions, technology has improved to the point where, if properly utilized, parking congestion can be mitigated. Uber, Lyft, Qwik Ride and other ride sharing services have become extremely popular and have had a positive impact on congestion and parking. We have encouraged our elected officials to examine phone apps that also help to identify open parking spaces and consider revamping the pay structure of parking throughout the town.
As a representative of the business community the Chamber has seen businesses suffer and in some cease operations when the Town closed the Gerard Street lot for several months to make repairs and to repave it. We are rightly concerned that more businesses would suffer during construction if a parking structure is built unless there is a definitive plan for the loss of spots during what we conservatively expect would be a two-year process.
Recently a letter prepared by the steering committee of the parking committee recommended a parking structure. Proponents made presentations to the Chamber’s Board of Directors and asked we support the push for a parking structure. But we are not convinced. At these meetings many raised questions about why the latest technologies and use of paid parking in municipal lots were not being considered more strongly before committing to expensive and disruptive construction.
The Chamber chose not to be a signatory on that letter but only because we felt that the use of technology and alternatives should be fully explored before spending millions of dollars on a parking structure in the heart of Huntington village.
The Huntington Chamber is fully supportive of all options to remedy the parking challenges in Huntington Village, including a parking structure if, after full analysis, that is deemed the best solution.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce
Brian Yudewitz, Chairman
Robert Scheiner, Vice Chair
Robert Bontempi, Vice Chair
Vita Scaturro, Vice Chair
Jennifer Cassidy, Treasurer
Bushra Dano, Secretary