The Greenport Village Board held a public hearing Thursday to receive community feedback on adding 72-hour parking regulations to the Fourth Street parking lot owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Agency.
The lot, located south of the train tracks, does not have time-based parking regulations. The issue came to light last year after locals and board trustees noticed vehicles were parked in the lot for several months.
“We’ve seen vehicles sitting down there for two months at a time,” Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said. “There’s a landscape trailer that’s been parked there. Some sit there for weeks on end, some for months.”
Greenport Zoning Board chairman John Saladino, who said he’s in favor of limited time-parking, is concerned about how the law would be enforced.
“If I pulled into a parking space and I took the bus, then the next day I pull into the same spot and I did that for four consecutive days, would I find a ticket on my window?” he asked.
The mayor said the lot would be monitored daily — meaning a code enforcement officer would track which vehicles are in which spots Monday using street markers, and then again on Wednesday.
However, Mr. Hubbard said, the area will be more challenging to monitor than other locations in the village because it’s “very detached” from village hall.
Randy Wade of Sixth Street said she’s concerned that folks from the city are hogging the parking spots on weekends.
“I heard that people drive out from the city, park in the lot, walk onto the ferry, then use the parking for the weekend and they won’t get back until the weekend — 72 hours would be perfect for that,” she said.
Ms. Wade suggested the board consider a street sweeper run around 2 a.m. to ensure the parking lot is regulated overnight.
The parking lot fills up fast, according to Jenny Allen of Third Street. She said she appreciates the board’s efforts to resolve the issue and supports the idea of bringing in a street sweeper. The Greenport local said she doesn’t support parking lot stickers, which have been suggested at previous board meetings.
“That defeats the purpose of having open spaces to be able to park,” Ms. Allen said. “Anyone in the downtown area doesn’t have enough street space for parking.”
Previous Greenport Planning Board chairman Devin McMahon suggested the board store the funds from parking violations in one location for future vehicle-related use.
“For any parking violation or permits that are issued, they should be specifically earmarked for funds that address the parking issues,” he said. Greenport Zoning Board member Arthur Tasker recommended the board consider adding multiple violations for vehicles parked longer than 72 hours.
“Because you could potentially see that if you’re only getting a single violation, you can leave your food truck or your landscape truck there for all winter for one violation,” he said.
Hampton Jitney, which runs from the city to the East End, does not have designated spaces in the lot. Village officials have discussed whether they can charge Hampton Jitney for use of the lot. At a December 2018 meeting, Mr. Hubbard said he was told the village would have to split proceeds from any fees with the MTA.
The board has not made a decision regarding the Fourth Street lot, but Mr. Hubbard said the board will take the community’s feedback into consideration at the next work session in February.
The Village currently enforces timed parking on Front Street, Main Street, First Street, Adams Street, and has designated spots in the IGA Parking Lot.
Photo caption: Mayor George Hubbard Jr. and Trustee Julia Robins at Thursday’s meeting. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)