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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.”

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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