BAY SHORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Islip business owners and their workers say new parking meters are killing their livelihoods, and they want the whole program scrapped.
Dozens of business owners and their workers stood on the steps of Islip town hall to demand town leaders remove the controversial new parking meters in downtown Bay Shore.
“Now, I have somebody on a daily basis that they don’t know how things work, they don’t know why Sunday is not free which is traditionally a church day,” Karen Norris said.
Business leaders at first supported the meters as a way to keep Fire Island ferry commuters from hogging downtown parking, but now they point to many empty metered spots as proof that customers don’t want to pay.
Inside, clerks who work at night complain about meters that kick in at 6 p.m. in the back lots they used to park in for free.
“It’s a little ridiculous, I mean you should at least have the workers not have to pay for it,” Brooke Olsen told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“The ability for an employee pass is available, employers can buy passes for employees and some of them do,” Islip Town Supervisor, Angie Carpenter (R) said.
Carpenter defended the new program and said it was approved unanimously by the board several years ago.
One councilwoman said she now regrets that vote and is prepared to oppose Supervisor Carpenter’s plans to expand the meter program further.
“The supervisor is calling for another $300,000 in the budget to continue to expand the program into the streets of Islip,” Trish Bergin Weichbrodt (R) said.
“Yes, the parking lot at the Islip train station will be the next lot to be metered,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter said beyond the Islip train station, she’ll first check with local businesses before metering main street.
A cashier at an Islip candy store said she depends on parking for free.
“Probably I’ll be short on money, probably be very short on money, I can’t afford it,” Marissa Macchio said.
Meter opponents said they’ll oppose any expansion and want the meters removed.