By Danny Schrafel
If you’ve noticed the number marking your multi-meter spot in Huntington village is bent or missing, it probably happened on a Saturday night.
Now, new designs are on the way to make it harder for emboldened vandals to repeat the feat.
About 15 of the oval numerical signs, installed in place of the previous coin-operated parking meters, have been snapped off or otherwise damaged by vandals since being installed in late April, town spokesman A.J. Carter said.
Many of those incidents have occurred on Huntington’s biggest night out.
“The incidents have tended to happen Saturday night into Sunday,” he said.
Town workers have been able to replace most of the signs within a day, and the town has worked with Huntington Station-based vendor Sign-A-Rama to press out extra signs, Carter said.
If you’ve parked at one of those sign-less spots and had no idea what parking spot to pay for, good news – you won’t be ticketed, Carter said.
“But because they’ve been replaced so quickly, that hasn’t been an issue,” he added.
Shortly before the multi-meter system went live April 28, the town cut down traditional parking meters at prime parking spots along New York Avenue and Main Street, where parking is $1 per hour (or 25 cents for 15 minutes, if paid by coin), and replaced them with metal signs identifying the parking spot number patrons need to punch into the electronic multi-meter kiosk when buying parking.
Parking elsewhere in the village, which still uses the classic meter designs, was increased to 50 cents per hour. Previously parking was 25 cents per hour throughout the village.
Some of the signs went missing or were damaged shortly after installation, Carter said in a May 1 Long Islander News report. The town opted for the multi-meter signs instead of, for example, painting the numbers on the ground, to ensure that spot numbers are never blocked by snow or some other obstruction.
But after the vandalism incidents, Carter said the oval-shaped signs will be revamped.
“The signs are being re-designed to make it more difficult to snap off,” he said.