As a prelude to the reopening of the Port Washington Public Library, Baxter Estates residents are concerned over parking on local streets near the library. About two dozen residents of Locust Avenue, North Washington St. and Tianderah Drive - all roads within walking distance of the library - packed the Baxter Estates village office to air those concerns at July 10 meeting of the board of trustees.
Proximity to the library isn't their only worry. Long Island Rail Road commuters who park all day on their streets, access for scheduled street sweeping, as well as their own parking needs, are all exacerbated by a hodgepodge of current parking signage. Lack of enforcement was also cited as a problem.
Baxter Estates Mayor James Neville, also a resident of the area, was sympathetic to their gripes.
"Right now, Locust Ave. is lawless," he declared. "We have conflicting signs. We have the whole library-parking issue. We have commuter-parking issues. We have sweeping issues. We have resident parking issues."
"We need one type of parking regulation on the street to aid in enforcement," he said. "Let's get rid of the confusion."
Though the streets are swept on Tuesday mornings, no sign prohibits parking at that time. "There are no signs that say 'no parking' for street sweeping," said one resident.
"I'm worried about the proliferation of signs," said another resident.
"Instead of littering the streets with signs," said another local, "we should post the parking regulations at roads entering the village." Current signs entering the village prohibit parking from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. throughout Baxter Estates.
"I think we need better enforcement of the current laws," said yet another resident.
Trustee Charles Comer summed up the board's position. "I wouldn't want day-long parking in front of my house," he said, "but I may want to park longer than (the currently permitted) one hour. The board can do whatever necessary, but we want to be responsive to the residents in the area."
Mayor Neville appealed to the residents to canvas their neighbors on possible changes to parking regulations, to be addressed at the next trustee meeting.
"We want to clarify," he said, "what type of parking do you, the Locust residents, want?"