The following was recorded on November 30, 2015. You can view the original on CBS 2 here. Many thanks to Carolyn Gusoff for speaking with me. The text of the video is copied below.
BAY SHORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — With the new year will come new fees for people who park at one Long Island Rail Road Station.
The Town of Islip will start charging drivers to park at the train station parking lot in Bay Shore starting Jan 4.
Residents will need to purchase a yearly parking permit for $90; non-residents will pay $200.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Islip joins a growing number of LIRR stations where riders will have to pay to park.
Town officials said the money will go toward rehabilitating and maintaining the facility.
That explanation was not sitting well with some drivers, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
“I don’t believe that money goes where it’s supposed to, I think it’s a money-grab opportunity,” one driver said.
One resident believes the new policy will cause a parking problem for neighbors on surrounding streets.
“They are gonna suffer because people are gonna want to park their car without having to pay a fee,” the resident said.
Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said riders will be getting something back.
“We are moving the direction of security, putting cameras up. People are looking, to show them that we are keeping them safe,” she said.
The free ride is over at many lots as ridership grows, but spaces disappear.
There are 150,000 riders vying for only 68,000 spots.
The LIRR said it can’t solve the parking crunch, three-quarters of the railroad’s parking lots are owned by towns and villages.
The MTA pays to build elevated parking lots, but many municipalities balk at the idea because it would mean opening up parking to non-residents.
“It adds stress, you have to leave a good 40 minutes earlier to find a spot,” Land Use Columnist Richard Murdocco said.
Murdocco believes a regional solution is needed.
“We are going to have to address this problem. Municipalities cannot keep their head in the sand and neither can residents,” he said.
The LIRR Council is pushing for a new regional parking commission.
The Wyandanch elevated garage cost $29-million. The LIRR has millions earmarked for another parking garage, but said a municipality must request help.
An informational meeting on the new policy is being held at 7 p.m. Monday at the Bay-Shore Brightwaters Public Library.