Greenport Village is one step closer to changing the times it enforces parking downtown, but the Business Improvement District might not be in support of the proposal. The move, village officials hope, would free up parking during peak hours.
The potential change to the code would shift parking enforcement on parts of Adams Street and the portion of First Street between South and Front streets. Instead of enforcing parking from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the village would enforce it from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Board trustee Mary Bess Phillips said the code is intended to ease traffic flow around parking spaces on First Street in summer months.
“With the 30-minute spaces … the whole First Street parking spots were being filled by 5 p.m. from those who wanted to go down and go to restaurants since it was open,” she said. “Those who wanted to get in and out of IGA quickly were not finding any parking spaces.”
Trustee Peter Clarke, former president of the BID, said the other intention of the code change is to “facilitate short shopping trips in the evening or late afternoon so the increasing numbers of restaurants don’t fill up the entire business district by 5 p.m.”
“If you have an after-work errand to run in the summer and you can’t find any parking anywhere, this would alleviate that problem for residents,” he said.
The change also benefits the traffic control officers, since there are usually few violations between 8 and 10 a.m., Mayor George Hubbard said.
Ms. Robins, the village liaison to the BID, said when the group met, local business owners raised concerns with the change and preferred parking be left alone.
“I don’t mind the 10 o’clock, but the 8 p.m., I think, is going to have a pretty tough impact on a lot of restaurants,” Ms. Robins said. “If you’re going to go out to eat around 5:30 p.m. and you don’t get out of the restaurant in time, you’re going to be rushed.”
Mr. Hubbard said restaurant-goers wouldn’t park in 30-minute spots, but Ms. Robins said there are two-hour parking spots in that area, too.
Mr. Clarke said he understands the BID’s perspective, but the board’s point of view is to facilitate turnover for visitors and residents coming in at the end of the day. He added that the board received a letter from the BID in October which reflected those points, but it was not discussed at the public hearing.
Ms. Robins said she will encourage BID members to voice their concerns at the Dec. 26 meeting. The board is expected to vote on the code at that meeting.
The board hosted a public hearing Nov. 25 on the revamped parking, where no comments were made by the public.