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Letter: Happy Holidays – Here Is A $120 Fine From Your Local Police

I think it is important that I share my story about the most egregious ticket I have ever received, as a heads-up to other families trying to enjoy a day-trip to Manhattan.  

On Dec. 25, in Melbourne, Florida, police officers pulled over speeding motorists and handing them scratch-off lottery tickets. The officers purchased the tickets with their own money to spread some cheer to their community. On December 30, my wife was also given a ticket by our local police here in Syosset — a $120 parking ticket for parking in the Syosset train station without a commuter permit. This was the “cheer” she had to return to after spending a wonderful day in the city with my three sons visiting the Museum of Natural History and Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

As a commuter who parks at the train station every morning, I appreciate the need to ensure only Oyster Bay residents use the parking lot as it gets very crowded. As such, I would welcome the idea of a police officer checking permits at 7:30 a.m. when I am trying to find a parking spot — I have never seen this in the five-plus years I have been commuting. Shouldn’t these tickets be reserved for individuals using the parking lot every morning that do not reside in Oyster Bay?  Isn’t that the spirit of needing a permit? My wife does not park at the station every day. She parked there during a holiday week at 11 a.m. when the parking lot was more than half empty. She has a Town of Oyster Bay Leisure Pass (obviously a resident) on her back window and three car seats inside the truck. It could not have been more evident that my wife was not parked illegally to commute to work. Is Nassau County that broke that officers are targeting cars of families heading into the city for the day during the holidays? Are our taxes not high enough that we should have to pay an additional $120 to park at the train?

I would ask our local police to please be reasonable as residents of Syosset really have no other parking options. There is no option to pay to park for the day. The only other option would be to park on a side street and cross Cold Spring Road or Jackson Avenue with a stroller and three children — not a very safe option.

— Michael – Resident of Syosset