Greenport unveils new parking rules

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO During the summer, parking is at a premium on Front Street in Greenport. Village Board members are reviewing proposed parking regulations and the public will get a chance to weigh in before officials ask Southold Police to start an enforcement crackdown.

Greenport residents got their first look Tuesday at proposed rules that could affect their parking habits downtown. There are no surprises in the proposed village code amendment, which mirrors recommendations made last month by members of the village code committee.
Drafted by village attorney Joseph Prokop, the proposal could be amended by the Village Board. A public hearing date has not yet been set.
Greenport has been without enforceable, written parking regulations for years, so drivers have been able to be park at fire hydrants or in handicapped spaces without fear of getting a ticket. And even though there have been many complaints, especially from merchants, about insufficient parking during the peak summer season, nothing has been done to enforce existing 10-minute and two-hour limitations.
With passage of the new rules, the village would ban parking without a special permit at a fire hydrant or in handicapped zones and authorize Southold Police to strictly enforce its regulations.
The action is in line with a report from Michael Kodama of MK Planning Consultants in Burbank, Calif., who told Village Board members and merchants last year that before they considered creating additional parking spaces, they needed to have up-to-date parking regulations that were strictly enforced. Only then could the village realistically assess whether or not there’s a need for more parking, Mr. Kodama said. His full report is available at the village’s official website,
“During the field observation (Aug. 27, 2009), we did not see any parking enforcement in order for current parking rules and regulations to be effective,” Mr. Kodama said in his July 22, 2010, written report.
Under the new rules, violators of either restriction on parking at fire hydrants or in handicapped zones would be fined $100. Also, 10-minute limits would be changed to half-hour limits at parking spaces located as follows:
• in designated spaces at the IGA parking lot, which is village property;
• on both sides of South Street between First and Second streets;
• on both sides of First Street between Front and South streets; and
• on both sides of Main Street south of Front Street.
Also, two-hour parking would be enforced:
• on Front Street between Main and Third streets;
• on Main Street between Center and Front streets; and
• on one side of Third Street between Front and Wiggins Street.
Two handicapped spaces would be designated at the northeast corner of the IGA parking lot; two more on Main Street, just south of Front Street; and two on First Street, just south of Adams Street. Some are new and some are already posted as handicapped spaces.
Village Board members are expected to discuss the proposed rules at the Oct. 18 work session and recommend any changes they wish before scheduling a public hearing.
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