By: Danny Schrafel
A 15-minute parking option will soon be added in Huntington village less than a month after one-hour minimums were instituted for street parking.
Town spokesman A.J. Carter said Friday that shoppers visiting Huntington village will, hopefully by the end of this week, be able to pay 25 cents for 15 minutes of parking at one of the town’s multi-space meter spots along New York Avenue and Main Street. A quarter would now also buy 30 minutes of parking at street parking on side roads.
In late April, the town increased parking in prime areas to $1 an hour, and 50 cents per hour elsewhere in town, up from a quarter per hour everywhere. At the same time, they implemented a 1-hour minimum for parking purchases.
The change to allow customers to pay for parking a quarter at a time should be implemented by the end of this week, Carter said, once the manufacturer of the multi-meters is able to reprogram the system. The one-hour minimum, however, will remain in effect for credit card parking purchases.
“This is in response to some clear comments, both from store owners and shoppers, that they felt there should be some accommodation made for people who wanted to get a quick cup of coffee or drop something off or pick something up quickly,” Carter said.
Town officials previously planned for a quarterly review of the new parking procedures, but Carter said “the message was loud and clear and the adjustments are going to be made much quicker than that.”
After the new parking rates and system went live April 28, merchants and shoppers argued the one-hour minimum unfairly burdened businesses, especially ones that relied on quick stays and fast transactions.
Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce co-chairman Bob Bontempi said a village parking consortium, including the town, Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, the BID, the Town Economic Development Corp. and The Paramount, brought that feedback to the town board, which then decided to act upon those recommendations.
“Twenty-five cents for 15 minutes is an outcome of that,” he said. “It’s another step in this 30-year process toward remedying the parking challenges in the villages, and it’s not the last step.”
The new parking fee structure was a byproduct of a village parking study financed by the consortium, which includes recommendations on how to best resolve parking congestion and a lack of access to parking in the downtown village.