BAY SHORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Summer visitors to Fire Island have often enjoyed free parking on the mainland, but when business owners in Bay Shore complained that customers could not shop because of the clutter of cars.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, free parking has now come to an end as a result.READ MORE: MTA, Union Leaders Call For More NYPD Officers To Patrol Subways After Off-Duty Conductor Nearly Blinded By Attacker
Racing to Fire Island ferries, beachgoers were doing double takes along Maple Avenue and the parking piers in Bay Shore Monday.
The Diaz family and crabber Brent Padula used to take advantage of the free parking.
“It should be included in the fare (for the ferry),” Padula said.
But now, what some call meter mayhem has replaced free parking. New parking meters went up, despite more than 2,000 signatures submitted to the town asking them not to be installed.
“It is restricting some people from coming down and enjoying a town resource,” said Islip resident Dan McCarthy.
Some tourists and locals alike say the meters are causing hassles and frustration. Stalls differentiate among four, 16, 24, and 72-hour stays, and prices vary between weekdays and weekends.
Coins and credit cards are accepted, but no paper cash. The meters are also payable by smartphone, but Fire Island resident Kim Ludlow discovered that they sometimes malfunction.READ MORE: New Jersey Native Jovan Collazo Accused Of Hijacking School Bus At Gunpoint, Holding Elementary School Students Hostage In South Carolina
“Sometimes the parking meters don’t work, and then you get a ticket for something that isn’t your fault, and then the spaces aren’t available anyway,” said Saltaire homeowner Kim Ludlow.
The town acknowledges change brings bumps in the road, but councilmembers agreed that meters are an innovative revenue enhancer – amounting so far to $3,000 in profits each summer weekend – will help close an $11 million deficit.
“Anything you start new, people either get confused, or they are upset because it was free in the past, and now it’s changed,” said Islip Town Councilman John Cochrane. “But we need to get our parking program back, because it was actually mismanaged for years.”
The town said with free parking, there was no incentive to move cars and businesses complained that their patrons could not park.
Now, meter fees can fix deteriorating municipal lots, and pay for the installation lights and security cameras, officials said.
A total of 48 new meters will be installed at the ferry docks, along downtown Main Street, and at the Long Island Rail Road station nearby.
The town said even with the new meters, Bay Shore will enjoy 60 percent free parking.MORE NEWS: NYPD Investigating Possible Hate Crime After Statue Of Polish Hero Father Jerzy Popiełuszko Is Vandalized
Meanwhile, the Town of Teaneck, New Jersey is also considering parking meters in its business district as a way to raise money. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the issue.