Calling the metering of Bay Shore’s parking areas “unjust,” Chamber of Commerce leaders have announced they’re circulating a petition against the town’s paid parking program in the hamlet.
“Remember Bay Shore is the only hamlet in the Town of Islip with meters,” reads the announcement. “Only our commuters must pay to park at the train station! Only our Bay Shore employees must pay to go to work!”
Residents and business leaders have complained about faulty meters kiosks, loss of business, employee safety concerns and financial hardships for nonprofit organizations and those seeking medical treatment in the downtown area.
The Town of Islip installed the first meters on Maple Avenue in 2015, later adding more at the local LIRR station and Bay Shore Marina in 2016. The meters then hit Main Street in November of 2017 and in downtown’s back parking lots in April 2018.
Islip Councilman John Cochrane Jr., who lives and runs a business in Bay Shore, initiated and spearheading implementation of a town-wide parking management plan.
Another bone of contention from residents and businesses is that money from Bay Shore’s meters goes into the town’s general fund, and doesn’t get earmarked for exclusive use in the hamlet.
Cochrane previously told GreaterBayShore keeping the money in Bay Shore would require setting up a parking district, and that he and other Town Board members are opposed to setting up more of such governmental entities within the town.
The chamber also filed legal action against the town in November of 2018, and chamber leaders say the town has refused to sit with their legal representation to discuss the matter.
“Town attorneys have made a motion to dismiss our lawsuit,” the petition announcement reads. “They have even rejected our overtures to sit down and talk. They will not reconsider and have given us no choice.
“Now we must stand up and act!”
The town had plans to meter downtown Islip but back off those plans.
A Town of Islip spokeswoman wasn’t available for comment Monday, but had previously told GreaterBayShore the town wouldn’t comment on pending possible litigation.
Check back for any additional information and updates.