We have a small retail store on Port Washington Blvd., which is heavily dependent on parking meters available on the boulevard. There is no enforcement of the parking regulation in even non-holiday times. We had made numerous complaints in the past to the Town of North Hempstead as well as Port Washington Police Department.

Since the town placed those red bags on the meters with their free parking message, every year, for the month of December, parking for those "quick in and out" shoppers has become a nightmare. Free parking for the holiday is a good gesture from the town, provided they enforce those rules regarding the time limit. People must not park their vehicle beyond the allowed limit. It is the town's absolute responsibility, as well as their duty to check on it and enforce the regulations. It is not fair at all that the town escape from its duty and local businesses lose business because of those who violate the time limit rules and park their vehicle for a longer duration.

The town must rethink this policy if they cannot enforce the law. We truly understand that it is very difficult to check the amount of time a vehicle has been parked at the meter, when a meter is covered with those bags and you don't have to feed the meter. We do not think that someone from the town will check a vehicle at regular time intervals to determine the duration of that vehicle. It will be time consuming as well as impossible.

Given the situation, we strongly believe that this free holiday parking should not be in force as it is adversely affecting the local businesses.

We also urge the other local businesses to think about this situation and raise their voice. After all, the town is providing this free parking to help shoppers as well as local merchants. At the same time, the town must do what is necessary to ensure the proper enforcement of the rules.

Wishing you everyone very happy holidays and happy and healthy new year.

Sunny Sanghavi

Cigar King

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