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Hearing on Merrick LIRR Parking Program Postponed

(Credit: Chris Boyle)
(Credit: Chris Boyle)
Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.

Merrick residents who use the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to commute to work who are waiting to see how proposed parking permit program proposed by the Town of Hempstead (TOH) will take shape must wait a bit longer to find out.

Due to ongoing shortages of parking spots because of non-resident vehicles at the Merrick LIRR commuter lots, the TOH has proposed a parking permit program. The current plan is to designate 213 spaces in Hempstead Field M-7 exclusively for TOH residents who have purchased a permit.

However, at this week’s Hempstead Town Board meeting, where a hearing was slated to be held regarding the revision of proposed public parking field maps at the Merrick LIRR station, TOH Supervisor Kate Murray instead announced a postponement based on the recent lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy.

“We will have to postpone any further regulations on the Merrick railroad commuter parking lot in case FEMA or another organization requires our assistance in ongoing Sandy recovery efforts, as they do on a daily basis,” Murray said. “So I propose a short adjournment without a date on this matter.”

North and Central Civic Association President Claudia Borecky, who had attended the hearing and had intended to speak on the matter, requested a meeting on the matter to be held in the Merrick area at a later date to give residents unable to attend the hearing a chance to have their opinions heard.

After the meeting, Borecky expressed that the opinion that parking permits alone may not be the solution to the issue.

“We’ve observed that people often come to the Merrick train station from the Town of Oyster Bay and Suffolk to park because it is now the only train station in Nassau County that does not prohibit parking to non-residents,” Borecky said. “As commuters with a permit will be allowed to park in the Hempstead Parking Lot M-7 on a first-come, first-serve basis, commuters that arrive after 7 a.m. may still have problems finding a space to park.”

Borecky’s proposed solution is to request that Hempstead Field M-7 prohibit parking between the hours of 3-7 a.m. during the Monday through Friday work week. She also suggested that, as many commuters do not return home from work within a 12-hour time span, that the 12-hour time limit in the other Merrick commuter lots be lifted.

“This would effectively free up 213 spaces for Hempstead residents who arrive at the train station after 7 a.m.” she said.

Patch will further cover this situation when the TOH re-schedules the hearing on theMerrick commuter permit parking.

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