Trustee Doug Roberts has proposed several ideas to eliminate some of the traffic and parking problems in downtown Greenport, such as establishing a bike rental, but so far, none has gained support from a board majority.
Mr. Roberts outlined some of his suggestions at last Thursday’s Greenport Village Board work session. He suggested a shuttle or valet parking to encourage parking on Moore’s Lane.
“We’ve been trying to get people to park on Moore’s Lane during the Maritime Festival and the Tall Ships festival for years, and nobody wants to do it,” said Mayor George Hubbard Jr.
Mr. Roberts first proposed his solutions in September, with all three proposals aimed at using part of Moore’s Lane for parking, and then getting those people to the downtown area by other means.
One option he floated was using a small electric tram or golf carts to carry people from Moore’s Lane to a designated spot downtown. Another was to have valet parking bring people into town and the third was to issue a request for proposals to establish bicycle rentals at a Moore’s Lane site, from which people could then cycle into the downtown area.
But Trustee Julia Robins said one of the options had cars parking on school property and near quiet residential neighborhoods.
Mr. Hubbard said if a private company wanted to operate a shuttle, he’d have no problem with it, but having the village do it would create liability issues. He also said that having a bicycle concession at Moore’s Lane would hurt the bike company that’s already located on Front Street.
The mayor also said he doesn’t think valet parking would work in Greenport.
“We’re not a beach community,” he said.
Ms. Robins said people don’t want to leave their cars too far away and are willing to walk.
But, she added, Montauk and Hampton Bays both established trolley-type bus service to take people around those hamlets this summer, and the village could look into those operations.
One suggestion Mr. Roberts did have support on was adding short-term parking spaces at the IGA.
The village has named John Saladino as its ombudsman with regard to the recently started LIPA/PSEG project at the end of Fifth Street.
Mr. Saladino, who chairs the village Zoning Board of Appeals and is a member of its conservation advisory committee and a regular at most Village Board meetings, will respond to residents’ concerns and take them to PSEG or the village to try and resolve them.
Mr. Saladino can be reached at 631-739-4803 or by email at [email protected].
LIPA, which owns the distribution system and contracts with PSEG Long Island to operate it, is running a 13kv electric cable from its Southold substation to Fifth Street and then underwater to Shelter Island Heights in order to provide additional power to Shelter Island.
The work is scheduled to take place Mondays through Fridays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
All work is scheduled to be completed by May 15, 2018, according to LIPA/PSEG.
Building permits debate
Some residents and village officials have been debating for the past few meetings whether the village should post all building permits online.
Resident John Tasker, who supports the idea, first brought it up a few months ago.
He said he’s found other municipalities that do so, including Southold Town.
“I don’t see the need for it,” Mr. Hubbard said during the work session. “If I’m putting a deck in my backyard and it’s all up to code, I don’t think everyone needs to know what I’m doing.”
“Building permits should be online,” Mr. Saladino said. “Another level of scrutiny can never hurt. The reasoning behind this scrutiny is that it allows a mistake to be noticed, and if it’s ignored, it allows it to be challenged.”
Ms. Robins said building permit information can be obtained by Freedom of Information law.
Mr. Roberts said the permit information is already required to be posted on the property. That being the case, he feels it should also be posted online.
The village currently publishes a monthly total for building permits in its meeting agendas.
Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said the village is working with Southold Town on upgrading its website to include a “Laserfiche” section of municipal records, and building permit information will eventually be included.
She said it’s not certain if the two systems would be linked together or operate separately, and if the village website will be able to accommodate the additional information or will need to be upgraded.