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Meters Causing a Commotion

The new parking meters off Main St. are causing grievance among store owners and patrons alike.

Shopkeepers up and down Main Street in the Port Washington Public Parking District are up in arms over the change in parking meters in the lots off Main Street.

The lots, which once had one meter per spot or every two spots, now have one meter for the entire lot where patrons enter their spot number and pay for their time. Even though the meters now allow two hours instead of one, many feel the extra time is not worth the inconvenience.

“The other meters were better,” said George Kleeman, who works at  on Main St. “People could just put money in and walk in through the front door. Who wants to pull up and take a walk like that?”

Omar Gonzalez, another Allstate worker, worried about what will happen when winter comes. “There’s going to be ice, snow and slush,” he said. He and his colleague also felt it was easier for people to have meters with less time because many of their patrons come in to make quick payments and leave. “They’re in and out,” he said. “They don’t want to pay for that.”

Some owners also feel like the meters are taking away from their business. Sharon Siew at has had numerous complaints from her customers since the change. “Especially when it comes to winter it’s tough,” she said. “We’ve already lost some business because people don’t want to walk. We’ve sent in a petition already,” she said, referring to a push to get attention from the

One of the workers at Senniyo chimed in saying she noticed an increase in the amount of traffic on Main St. because people are spending more time looking for spots as opposed to just going to the back parking lots.

Linda Colombo of has also sent in petitions about the meters, saying the meters have affected her business and were put in unfairly. “I just came in one day and they were changing it,” she said. “It’s been hurting my business.” Colombo said she’s heard complaints about the walk when it’s raining and when older customers try to come to her shop. “It’s hard enough for them to walk as is,” she said. “I offer to put quarters in the meter for them so they don’t have to walk.”

“You need to have a place to pay on each side of the parking lot,” said Ellen Fox, a patron at Frank’s Pizza. “You need more than one location.”

Upon learning that people were upset about the meters, Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio went to address the situation. After assessing the sites, the town came to the conclusion that nothing could be done at the time.

“It does not seem feasible to relocate the existing meter,” she said in an earlier email addressing the issue. “And not cost effective to purchase another one.”

Still, some hope for a different outcome.

“We got complaints because we help quality of life in Port Washington and this was a thing that upset people,” said Mindy Germain, executive director of . “Councilwoman De Giorgio is listening and realized something needs to change. We have full faith that she will be on this.”

John Fabio, who oversees Port Washington’s public parking, said that though they looked into other options, he wants people to acknowledge the good the meters have brought to the community. “We just removed 200 meters that had to be maintained and collected from and brought them down to four,” he said. He also said that the meters would eventually be able to take credit and debit cards as well. “New York City has already moved in this direction. We’re using technology for cost effectiveness and better service.”

Bob August 11, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I recall reading articles about the proposed change to 2 hour meters. I didn't see anything about 1 meter machine per parking lot as part of the deal. Was this ever discussed in a public forum? The result sounds like 1 step forward and 1 step back.
ricky ricardo August 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM
RS, One, it is better to stay silent and let people think you're a fool, then to speak and remove all doubt. Two, you have to know the number of your parking space to get a ticket, so you think it's okay that a parent with very young children in the car would have to leave the kids in the car, walk from one end of the lot to the meter, and then back to the car? Would it have been such a massive expense for TONH to put more than one meter in each lot?
bthebest August 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM
"We're using technology for cost effectiveness & better service"....Where is the "better service?" Clearly the town is cashing in on the new change but at the expense of the small business' on main st. and the inconvenience to the local residents. I put a quarter in the meter in the big lot by Falconer's (drove to the meter) by the time I drove back to my spot another man just pulled in to the spot next to mine, parked sideways and ran onto main st. Now I had a ticked for a spot that no car could fit into, was I going to return to the machine and get another ticket? or just go home and not go into the store on main st. where I would have spent money? This was poor planning on the part of the TONH and the residents of PW were left in the dark during it!
Mimi Weingart August 11, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I have a "cost effective"plan too! Its called parking in residential zone and giving ZERO to the meter. When out with my children, I'll increase my patronage to those places that won't add the stress of worrying about a ticket. When it gets to the point where Port turns into Queens, my family will leave North Shore altogether.
Nassau Taxpayer August 11, 2012 at 01:30 PM
This may, arguably be a benefit for SOME of those FEW who park for very long periods of time -- those who are able to and don't mind wasting their time and walking out of their way to use the poorly-sited "muni" terminal. However, for the VAST MAJORITY of people who park for less than one hour -- just to pop into a store -- there is absolutely NOTHING positive in this change-over. Not to mention the COMPLETE LOSS of the "ten minutes free" function in the old meters. If the Town was interested in saving money by eliminating "old meters", they could have pulled them all out and used the tried and true "chalk on the tires" technique to issue tickets. Make the Parking Enforcement people earn their bloated Town salaries -- and make them WALK, not troll around in the Town vehicle they take home every day. I'll bet the quarters don't begin to cover the cost of the "muni" terminals/contract and disposable and very environmentally toxic thermal paper receipts. Who's benefiting from this fiasco? Follow the money.
bob young August 11, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I agree with lucille ball's husband, you are a fool
bob young August 11, 2012 at 01:51 PM
why do we need to charge for parking anyway? i feel i pay enough in property taxes that should entitle me to park anywhere i want in town. issue a pass for town residents to park free of charge. BTW have any of you folks been to a town beach or park, where our town has the freakin' nerve to charge $15 to park you car there for a few hours?
RHMcCabe August 11, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I have watched elderly and disabled people struggle to properly pay to park at Beacon Pharmacy so as to get their medication.This system is such a hardship it's hard to believe it takes place in our town.The predatory practice of hunting for parking violations is hard to believe.
James Best August 11, 2012 at 03:18 PM
lets eliminate these unlawful meter machines immediately. i have a sledge hammer
James Best August 11, 2012 at 03:18 PM
power to the people, not the politicians
Jesse Conover August 11, 2012 at 03:22 PM
This makes it easier for the town to collect money. Nothing more. Local business will suffer due to this greed. Visit more robust villages and you'll see the lack of meters.
James Best August 11, 2012 at 03:49 PM
lets make sure we re-elect the idiot john kaimen again so we can have more things like this happening. i guarantee, we could get rid of half the town employees and we wouldnt know the difference. another example of bloated government brought to you by the democrats
Nassau Taxpayer August 11, 2012 at 04:24 PM
It's not partisan; Mangano brings the same approach to Nassau County.
James Best August 11, 2012 at 04:35 PM
we also need to eliminate those ridiculous red light cameras that are a safety hazard
James Best August 11, 2012 at 04:35 PM
a sledge hammer to those red light cameras as well
James Best August 11, 2012 at 04:36 PM
mangano isnt a true conservative
Linda August 11, 2012 at 05:44 PM
The switch to two hour meters and the replacement of the meters in the lot behind Frank's, Senniyo, Jack's, etc. are two completey unrelated matters and should not be confused with one another. To park for two hours costs twice the cost of parking for one hour; the meters were simply adjusted to accept two quarters at a time instead of one. This new system was poorly thought out and did not take into account the needs of both businesses and residents. Businesses have a hard enough time making it in Port Washington; why would the town make it any harder, whether a little harder or a lot harder? As to residents, some people can suck it up and walk but others can't; especially in a small town like Port Washington, why should anyone be mean-hearted to the elderly and physically challenged, whether this is a small or a large issue for them? I would think fixing this situation would have been a no-brainer for the town and am flaggergasted that the petition got a flat no response.
Joseph Mirzoeff August 11, 2012 at 06:17 PM
You ever feel good to park at a meter that still has say 50 minutes left on it -- well you don't get that chance with the new type of metering, town gets double for the same time, it all adds up. I suppose the town thinks this is good, me, I just hate what government is becoming at all levels. It's less about service, and more about preying on the public. $12 toll at Lincoln Tunnel, but so many of us have easy pass and don't notice.
Nassau Taxpayer August 11, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Good point. The inconvenient and environmentally disastrous Muni-meters eliminate piggy-backing. Follow the money.
jonathan winant August 11, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Muni meters as some areas call them have been in successful throughout the metro and L. I. area for a long time with no issues. As far back as I can remember Rockville Center has used the same type of system we now use in Port Washington. The only difference is that in Rockville Cntr. there are differing time limits depending on which rows you park in. There are also more then one meter station in each parking lot. This makes it easier for disabled or elderly and cuts down on the distance one has to walk. Adding several Meter stations to the now equipped parking lots would be a big help and would still reduce the cost of maintenance of having a meter at every space. Face it change was inevitable due to the times. The same type of metered parking lots are in use all over Queens and work very very well so well that numerous N> Y. C. streets have a muni meter in the middle of the block. Part of the complaints I have read are from residents who just feel they need to be pampered but some other complaints have validity and need to be looked into. People with complaints should contact the parking district so they can sort out what needs immediate attention. If your just going to grumble then nothing will be gained. Trust me I took on bigger fish and was able to get results when many failed to do so. If your curious to what I accomplished ask me. Jonathan Winant
RHMcCabe August 11, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Farmingdale did away with these horrid machines because of the hardship to citizens and their town.
Nassau Taxpayer August 11, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Who has made and is making money via the acquisition of these machines? In the broadest interpretation of that question. Along the lines of the red light camera scams. Follow the money.
Cares for Port August 12, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Our Councilwoman needs to deal with this problem. I really don't think it's about people being lazy and I really don't understand how this is cost effective. From what I am hearing the machines cost around $9,000 and they are not cutting staff at the parking district. Does Port Washington really need a $9,000 machine in our parking lots? We are not NYC or Queens. The old machines worked fine and I am sure the cost for the old machines was ZERO. This is hurting our merchants and helping the PW Parking District/TONH in two ways. 1) There could be money left on a spot, but you will never know so the same spot could have double revenue at times 2) Tickets - There will be more tickets issued because once the meter expires it informs the ticket officer and they can drive to the spot and issue a ticket. These machines are going to hurt our merchants and eventually we will have more empty stores on Main Street. Who ever thought of this idea for a small town should be fired for lack of communication to the merchants, residents of Port and for wasting our money.
bob young August 12, 2012 at 04:47 AM
and when they drive to the spot and the cart is gone, a waste of time, gas and money. its time to end this senseless assault against the citizens
bob young August 12, 2012 at 04:49 AM
the imposition of pay to park is an outrage against the citizen. environmentally its not a big deal
Nassau Taxpayer August 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Say what? http://www.thermalprinterpaper.net/bpa-are-your-receipts-poisoning-your-customers/article/19216366423274351732100717691
Jon Weinstein August 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM
The fact of the matter is : governments, like the REST of us, have ALLOT LESS MONEY than they and we used to. In fact, THEY have less money because WE have less money. Maintaining and managing 200 meters versus one central dispensing unit? That is a slam-dunk cost-saver right there. The Snow/Ice issue is sensible. So, if the Town and other entities using this new central-vend system expect compliance, they will have to practice consistent diligence in adequately shoveling and de-icing the lots.Parking meters are broken or fail. Tell THAT to a judge, If the central-vend machine breaks down, then every buyer will be unable to buy, and any summons-writer unmindful of that ought to be canned for writing tickets en masse when this exists. Another great benefit: I don;t walk around with allot of Quarters. Most of the time, I don;t have ANY. But, I DO have single Dollar Bills, and occasionally I have had to break a Five Bill in one of those machines. Ouch. But, at least I could buy a ticket and not get a parking summons. You have people in this community like Roy Smitheimer and others who live, eat and sleep as well as breathe small business betterment, and they can be worked with to address changes that are sensible and can be implemented. No one wants small biz out---if they do, their agendas are so far out of the mainstream , anyway. Central Parking Fee Vending Kiosk Machines will not hurt Main Street small business.
jonathan winant August 16, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Jon I just received a e-mail from the MAN at the Town Of North Hempstead His name is J. Fabio and he explained some reasons for the change over to the muni meters. Everyone needs to know that how many meters are placed in a lot is not written in stone and is subject to change if needed. That means those who are having troublw witrh only one meter per lot should speak up NOW. You are right many reasons why the muni meters are more cost efficient. The main reason is they can be remotely accessed by the officers and more people are paying for the time then in the past bringing in more revenue. The old meters are outdated and will soon need costly repairs. here a slew of other reasons for installing conventional meters. I wonder how much longer willk parts be available for the old meters?
Bob August 17, 2012 at 12:02 AM
There have to be some engineering standards as to how many meter machines for x parking spaces and where to locate the machine or machines. Common sense would indicate if you only put 1 machine in a lot, put it someone near the center of the lot. Somehow, common sense didn't prevail here.
jonathan winant August 17, 2012 at 09:14 AM
I agree with you but the cost to do that as explained Mr. Fabio sometimes does not pay off the biggest factor has to do with laws concerning the disabled. Plus to put the meter in the center of the lot would mean that in some cases a lot of construction would have to ensue which is very costly (island built, loss of some spaces, wiring,) Your idea is one that Fabio at TONH needs to hear about the ore imput the better chance for a positive change.

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