The cherry trees are blossoming in Chandler Square and metered parking returned to Port Jefferson on April 15th. We congratulate the mayor for extending no metered parking during the winter till April15th but metered parking is no friend to the merchants and employees who are trying to make a living in Port Jefferson. For employees a working 40 hours, metered parking is $20 less in their pocket every week. Village merchants who make money when customers spend time in their store,will again experience the customer who has to run because he is afraid of getting a ticket. The thousands of customers who got parking tickets in the last couple of years will think twice before returning to Port Jeff. One can only image how many people will deceided to have dinner somewhere else rather than risk getting ticket in Port Jefferson. Many Port Jeff’s restaurants use to count on birthday parties, family celebrations and private parties. But if you think about it,who would invite friends and family to Port Jeff for a celebration and risk their guests getting parking tickets. There are plenty of other places to go and people tend to vote with their feet.
Metered parking was sold to Port Jefferson as a way to solve a difficult seasonal parking situation. Unfortunately metered parking really doesn’t help parking in Port Jeff during the busy summer months. What metered parking really has done is make customers think twice about coming to eat, shop and play in Port Jeff. The system itself is not user friendly and the promised community benefits have never materialized. It has become a good example of why Port Jeff government should not be in the parking business. If residents of Port Jefferson ever decide to take a look at the costs and benefits of metered parking they will find out their parking committee has created a white elephant which is trampling the local business community. Now the parking committee wants to raise the hourly parking rate. Instead of taking $20 out of an employees pay check they want $30! Times are tough everywhere but metered parking just sends potential customers to neighboring towns and villages. Port Jeff has a lot to love but metered parking is not on my list!