On Wednesday evening, Dec. 3, the Town of Oyster Bay held an open meeting to discuss the proposed parking garage at the intersection of Newbridge Road (Route 106) and Duffy Avenue. Town residents from a few different hamlets attended and made the meeting interesting. Residents who care about Hicksville and non-Hicksville residents, who could care less about Hicksville [and] just want to be given a parking space anywhere in Hicksville at no cost, also attended.
I thanked one of the last speakers for his honesty because he went on to explain he did not care how much green the garage had, what the height was or anything else, just give him a parking space. One of the early speakers turned toward a Hicksville resident who lives next to the garage, commenting that she "should have looked before purchasing her home." The garage, however, had not yet been built when she purchased her home.
The real answer to that person is, mister commuter, you should have thought about commuting before you took your job in New York City, and not impose on someone else to provide you with a means to get to work, by providing a parking space. You could take a bicycle to work, fly a plane, swim or even walk. It is not the Hicksville resident or any town residents' responsibility to get you to the big city. You took a job in the city for more pay God bless you but no one owes you a parking space.
There are over 14 lot locations in Hicksville that provide over 3,000 parking spaces for the commuter. Am I to understand that every time a person gets a job in New York City Hicksville should take more land off its tax rolls to provide parking for that new person?
I heard at the meeting that the town could purchase the land across from the demolished garage on Newbridge Road and Duffy Avenue where I would guess about 160 cars are presently parking and pay a daily rate. This I do not agree with. Why take a parking lot that is a tax producing piece of property off the tax rolls level it, stripe it to park less cars for free? We will be losing spaces. The Hicksville resident would be taxed to purchase the land. The Hicksville resident would be taxed to improve the land and then the Hicksville resident would be taxed to make up the lost tax revenue to the town, school district, library district, fire district and water district so cars can park free? Taking tax producing business property off the tax rolls to provide free parking! Now Hicksville really gets screwed.
A women did ask for the alternate plans that were supposed to be presented along with a garage concept. The only item presented was a rectangular shaped red non-flattering building called "garage."
Some non-Hicksville residents complained about the two-hour parking restrictions on the residential streets. They want to park all day in front of a residential house. Did you ever try to back out of a driveway with cars parked on both sides of the driveway and a car parked across the street? It is a most difficult driving maneuver and worse for the aged and those with arthritis.
Another request was to improve Duffy Avenue. I could hear all the sweet talk of the improvements but we will end up with another Old Country Road with four lanes of traffic, parking removed from the businesses on the north side and the residents on the south side stepping out their front doors right into traffic with cars speeding closer to their homes than they do now.
When other hamlet parking locations were mentioned the MTA was blamed for lack of cooperation. The Syosset train station is a disaster with gap accidents routinely happening. The gap between the trains and platform is too wide, allowing people to fall between the platform and train. The crossing gates stop traffic during rush hour, and there is not enough parking for the commuter or the local businesses.
The destroyed west side of Broadway in Hicksville will never be developed because when a business opens and provides parking for its customers the Town allows commuters to park there. In the town's budget, from what I recall, there were two parking budgets, one for local business parking and the second for commuter parking. So much of Hicksville's business parking has been stolen for the commuter that businesses cannot survive. I recall installing restricted hour parking so Peppercorns and the businesses in that area would have some parking for their customers. North of Daltons Funeral Home was business parking, next to Peppercorns was business parking and next to the firehouse was business parking. The stores on both sides of Broadway, Marie Street, Jerusalem Avenue were thriving and Hicksville was a beautiful hamlet, not a parking lot for the commuter.
We are looking at $40 million to provide parking for 1,400 cars, one train load. With the help of our elected officials working with the M.T.A. parking for more than 1,400 cars could be provided at the Landia location north of the town's Department of Public Works property, for a lot cheaper than $40 million.
In closing, 1,400 divided into $40 million equals $28,571.42 per parking space. In these economic times we cannot afford this. We need to reduce our taxes not increase them. There are alternatives we can afford.
Former Councilman, Oyster Bay Town Board