Cecilia DowdOct 24, 2017, 6:59 pmOct 24, 2017, 7:25 pm

Bay Shore residents: Parking meters are hindering businesses

Some officials say the future of the area is being put at risk because visitors have to pay to park

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BAY SHORE — An overwhelming amount of business owners and residents called on Islip officials to remove parking meters that they say negatively impact the community.

“Bay Shore is thriving, not because of the town, but in spite of it. Our voices will continue long after you leave or you are voted out of office,” Joan Dlouhy said.

Dlouhy was one of many residents who went to Tuesday's Town of Islip meeting to speak out about how the parking meters impact the community.

Prior to the meeting, residents and Attorney Jason Femily rallies against the meters. Femley, who is running for town council, says he moved his business to the outskirts of town because he didn't want his clients impacted by the meters.

“This is so much more about having to pay to park and go to work. It's about the future of Bay Shore's main street and it's important you hear us. Morale is down and the public is not happy,” Sarah O'Sullivan said.

Though the majority of those who spoke at the meeting were against the meters, some say the area’s quality of life has improved since they were installed.

“For the past 18 years, I had to call the police every night who couldn't help me till 11 o’ clock or after 11 o’ clock from the noise. The cars racing up and down, blasting their radios, the thumping music. Now, between the parking meters and presence of town vehicles, I really don't get it anymore,” Mike Esposito said.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter says the meters are necessary and that the vast majority of parking is still free.

“The need for a managed parking program continues to grow as new businesses and residences have made recent significant investments here,” Carpenter said in a statement.

During the meeting, Carpenter told residents that the meters were brought in during Mr. Croci's administration in 2013 after a unanimous vote on the town board.

Councilwoman Trish Bergin, who initially voted in favor of the pilot program to try out the meters says she is calling for all meters to be ripped out after seeing how they have impacted businesses.

Bergin pledged to vote no when the board has to make a future decision to expand the program.

“I feel that this meter program is not working, negatively affecting businesses and just needs to go away,” she said.

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