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Town Addresses Local Parking Woes

Faced with a scarcity of on-street parking for frustrated neighbors of the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, members of the Hempstead Town Council teamed with the community to formulate a remedy. As a result, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate

Murray, Councilmen Gary Hudes and Ed Ambrosino announced they had created the “antidote” to traffic and parking woes on residential blocks. 

 

On Feb. 18, town officials approved legislation for a new residential parking program that aims to alleviate parking problems for outspoken neighbors who contend the hospital patrons and employees are responsible for the influx of cars.

 

“This new parking district will provide relief to parking and traffic headaches for neighbors of this busy hospital,” Murray said. “It will help renew the suburban quality-of-life that neighbors of this community expect and deserve.”

Parking around the medical center has been a continuing problem in recent years, not only for residents, but for hospital patrons and practioners as well.

 

At the request of structural engineers, the medical center closed off a parking garage on its campus, in July 2011. Since then, the hospital has been working with the community to alleviate parking woes created by employees and patients who park in public streets. 

 

Shelley Lotenberg, director of public affairs for Nassau University Medical Center, said that as a result of the recent demolition, the hospital anticipates 380 on-campus spots will become available for employees or visitors of the hospital.

 

“It is expected that the availability of these additional spots will further encourage our employees and visitors to park within the campus as we aim to continue being a good corporate neighbor, sensitive to the concerns of our community,” Lotenberg said. “NuHealth

will continue to do its part to increase on-campus parking capacity so that everyone who desires to park on campus can do so, when they need to do so.”

 

Traditionally, state law prohibits townships from issuing parking permits for public roadways. However, through the use of Home Rule legislation sponsored by state representatives Sen. Kemp Hannon and Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, the Town of Hempstead was able to get the necessary clearance from New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo to create a parking permit system for designated roadways surrounding the hospital facilities. 

 

New parking permits will be required for residents parking on designated roadways at specified time periods that were devised after several community discussions and polls. 

 

“Neighbors of the hospital simply should not have to stress over parking and traffic congestion on their residential blocks,” Murray said. “This legislation will certainly act as an ‘antidote’ to their frustrations.”

 

Although the new parking restrictions are not set to take effect until May 1, town officials say there will be no fee to acquire a permit. However, non-permit holders who park in violation of the new regulations could be subjected to fines that increase with multiple offenses.

 

"The new parking district will provide neighbors of the hospital with a collective sigh of relief,” Councilman Hudes said.