As was reported in September, metered parking is coming to downtown Bay Shore on Tuesday, Nov. 1, in the form of digital kiosks that will line Main Street and some of the side streets.
Below are five questions we recently asked Islip Councilman John Cochrane Jr. of Bay Shore, who initiated and is spearheading implementation of a town-wide parking management plan.
We chose these questions based on reader feedback.
Above is a digital kiosk in Patchogue Village that will be similar to those in Bay Shore.
1. Why can’t money collected from the parking program in Bay Shore stay in Bay Shore?
“Because it’s [the Town of Islip] general fund that bought the equipment and a majority of the infrastructure and security cameras that have been installed in Bay Shore,” Cochrane said. “The first order of kiosks alone cost $750,000.”
Cochrane said keeping all the money in Bay Shore would require the establishment of a Bay Shore Parking District to fund and manage the meters.
He said he would not support any new taxing district in Bay Shore or elsewhere in Islip Town.
“We have 901 taxing districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties,” Cochrane said. “And we’re going to the other hamlets and downtowns with parking meters as well. This is a town-wide management plan that happens to be starting in Bay Shore, since there’s so much going on.”
2. Do all parking meter tickets for cars parked on Main Street go to the state, or just other types of tickets, such as those for an expired registration or inspection?
“If there’s any ticket written on Main Street [a state road] it goes to the state,” Cochrane said. “But this isn’t about raising money; it’s about moving cars and managing our Main Street for our businesses and their customers.”
3. Is the ticket for overstaying an allotted time still $75? And where does that get adjudicated?
“That’s what the ticket is,” Cochrane said. “We’re going to be doing warnings at first, for people who stay a bit over. But if you’re hours over, you’re likely return to find a ticket on your car even during the ‘break-in’ period,” which he expects to last about two months.
The tickets will be adjudicated at Islip Town Hall, at traffic court, in front of a judge.
4. How soon do you expect the metering parking to be introduced to the north and south of Main Street?
“It was scheduled to be done in the springtime, like Memorial Day weekend, but we really need to see” what the traffic patterns are, he said. “We have to properly manage the flow of our employees, employers and visitors. We have 60 percent free parking; we’re not changing that.”
5. Is the end game to build a parking garage in Bay Shore? If so, where? And is there a timeline?
“That is the end game, yes; we have to think that way,” he said. “It would be located between Smith Avenue and Park Avenue, behind Salt & Barrel [on the north side of Main Street]. It’s a big lot and the only logical one. But there is no timeline. That would be a very expensive project. There hasn’t been money spent on sketches or anything. It’s just talk right now about the future growth of Bay Shore.”
Visit the Town of Islip website for a list of FAQs on Main Street parking.