Parking concerns claimed center stage on January 20th as the Town of Mamaroneck Board approved a new law for Lester Place and considered changes for Preston Street, Chester Place and Moran Place.
Board Approves Permit Parking For Lester Place Residents
After a lengthy public hearing, the board passed a law allowing residents of Lester Place to purchase permits ($25 per year, per car) to park in available spaces on their street for unlimited periods, day or night.
Lester Place, a T-shaped dead-end off of Fifth Avenue, has only seven homes, but several are multiple family dwellings. It is one of the few Mamaroneck streets with no restrictions on overnight parking. As a result, residents compete for spots in front of their homes with commuters and patrons of nearby businesses, many of them parked long-term.
The new law applies only to the residential section of Lester Place and will reserve 85% of spots – or around 20 – for residents with permits. The other 15% of spots will be marked off and open to anyone, but time limits will probably apply. (Click on Google map below for more details.)
Law Has A Long History: The Lester Place permits are possible because of legislation authorizing the board to create a residential parking permit system for streets in the Washington Square district. The legislation, requested by Mamaroneck for years, was approved by the New York State Legislature only last year and signed by the governor in July.
The new Lester Place rules should take effect much faster: Albany approval is expected within a week and new signs should be ready in 3-4 weeks. Once permits go on sale, residents will get notice from the Town, their landlords and/or signs posted on the street.
The Town is is holding off on permits for other parts of Washington Square as they study whether residents’ needs have been met by the new parking deck on Myrtle Avenue.
Permit as Punishment? Several Lester Place residents attended the public hearing and voiced their concerns. The new law will address some of their complaints, including those about commuters parking all day and cars without registrations taking up spots for weeks or longer. Councilman David Fishman noted there will be greater police surveillance once the law is in place and only properly “permitted” cars may park overnight.
When one resident suggested the $25 fee was a punishment for resident street parking not imposed on other residents, Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe pointed out the fee conferred a benefit not shared by other residents: on-street twenty-four hour parking privileges.
However, the new law does not resolve residents’ complaints about long-term parking on the street or on private property in the business section at the Fifth Avenue end of Lester Place. Supervisor O’Keeffe noted the Town cannot remove cars parked on private property, but the board may consider imposing time limits during the day and eliminating overnight parking in the adjacent business section.
For now, both Supervisor O’Keeffe and Town Attorney William Maker urged residents to be patient, allow the new system to get going, and return to the board should it prove unsatisfactory. Councilwoman Nancy Seligson asked, in the meantime, for a review of enforcement issues presented by the residents.
More Parking Changes: Traffic Committee Recommendations
Preston Street: At the recommendation of the Traffic Commission, the board agreed to prohibit parking on both sides of Preston Street (between Myrtle Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue) from 6 am to 10 am, Monday through Friday except holidays. The Commission noted all-day commuter parking on the street has created an inconvenience for the residents and an undesirable all-day street parking presence.
Chester Place/Moran Place
The board set a public hearing for February 10 on the Commission’s recommendations for parking restrictions on Chester Place and Moran Place. The Commission is concerned that cars (many of them belonging to employees of the nearby automobile dealerships) parked on both sides of these relatively narrow streets are preventing the effective flow of two-way traffic. In addition, emergency vehicle access may be impacted by the parked cars.
The Commission recommended parking be prohibited on the west side of Chester Place between Dillon Road and Moran Place at all times. On Moran Place, parking would be prohibited on the north side of the street for a distance of 300 feet from the corner of Chester Place.
Chabad Teens Appreciate Town Government & Services
The Mamaroneck Town Board, Police Department and Fire Department received hand-made certificates of appreciation from Chabad of Larchmont/Mamaroneck, represented by Rabbi Mendel Silberstein along with Joey Kaplan, Josh and Sam Saideman, and Jon Pomeranz, from the Chabad youth group, Teens for the Community.
Rabbi Silberstein cited the Mishnah (a written compilation of the oral traditions of Jewish law) in defining the function of government: “If not for the government, people would swallow each other up.”