By Andrew Wroblewski
The Huntington town board has scheduled a March 8 public hearing that could result in several parking changes for Huntington village.
First, the board is considering raising the price to park in metered spots on Wall Street between Main and Gerard streets to match that of the fees charged on Main Street and New York Avenue.
Currently, parking in metered spots on Wall Street costs 50 cents per hour. If the board adopts a change, Wall Street would become a “primary zone” and therefore prices would increase to $1 per hour (in 15-minute increments), the same rate on both Main Street and New York Avenue.
The board is also considering restructuring its parking fine system.
In its current state, the town has different fines for first, second and third parking offenses. The first is a warning; second is a $25 fine; and every offense after that brings a $50 fine. The board will consider adopting a uniform $25 fine for all parking offenses.
David Walsdorf, chairman of the town’s Huntington Village Parking Committee and a director at the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, said the proposed changes could foreshadow a switch on Wall Street from traditional coin-operated meters to the muni-meters that are currently found on Main Street and New York Avenue. Those muni-meters were rolled out April 2014 and accept both cash and credit cards.
“It’s really moving into the modern age,” Walsdorf said Wednesday. “If you go into the city, that’s all you see. You don’t see individual parking meters. Once people get used to it, I think they’ll find it more convenient.”
Huntington spokesman A.J. Carter reinforced Waldorf’s claim, he said that the town is currently in the process of rolling out the muni-meters on Wall Street, but couldn’t provide an expected timetable for the change.
Carter added that the town has received positive responses towards the potential parking changes from Wall Street merchants who believe “it makes sense to have the same parking regulations on Wall Street as on Main Street and New York Avenue.”
Carter said the town hopes to increase parking turnover on Wall Street so “if people want to patronize the businesses there then there is a better chance of them finding a spot directly in front of the business.”
The March 8 public hearing is slated for 2 p.m. at Huntington Town Hall.