Wednesday, 20 May 2009 17:43
Many residents share my hopes that Jon Kaiman, Fred Pollack and the Town Council will decide to explore alternative options to easing traffic and parking problems before resorting to the proposed construction of a large, unattractive, expensive and potentially dangerous three-story parking garage in the center of Port Washington.
I don’t know why the members of the Town Council continue to call this a “two and a half story” structure. It is a misnomer to call it 2-1/2 stories; there is not going to be a “half story” for parking. Although part of the garage will be two stories, half will be three stories therefore it is a three story garage.
Some of the alternatives presented at the Town Council meeting and discussed among residents of Port Washington include:
Trolley! So many people suggested the creation of a trolley or shuttle to bring people to the train station from their neighborhoods. Everyone in town, car owners or not, could get to the train station easily. People who take the train here to work in Port could get to their workplaces without needing a ride. People might even come in from the city on the weekends to ride the trolley from the Farmers Market to Dolphin Bookstore and to stop at many other shops in between. It would be great for the businesses in town if people could shuttle up and down Main Street, getting off where they please for shopping and then hopping back on to get to the next local business for more shopping, another errand or lunch.
Can we stagger the opening hours of some lots so that people who take later trains in the morning could get a place to park?
The current proposal calls for spending $13,000,000 for an additional 212 spots. That’s over $60,000 for each additional spot! Can’t we raise the cost of parking in our current lots? It’s quite inexpensive now compared to private parking. People may decide to walk to the train or carpool if it is more costly to park.
Improve pick up and drop off lanes.
Provide improved bicycle parking, and add some facilities for motorcycle, moped, and Vespa parking.
Limit the number of parking stickers per household. As pointed out in the meeting, some commuter towns have long waiting lists to get stickers. Can we really expect to provide an unlimited, and increasing rising, number of parking stickers?
Let’s make a public effort and think of some sort of incentives to encourage people to walk! Walking is healthy, for people and communities. Walking doesn’t pollute or make traffic jams or raise the cost of auto insurance.