Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.
At this month’s general membership meeting of the Bellmore Chamber of Commerce, a representative of the Town of Hempstead gave local merchants an update on the parking permit program being tested at the Bellmore Long Island Rail Road Station.
A long-standing issue with Bellmore locals has been out-of-town residents parking in the Bellmore LIRR lot. TOH First Deputy Clerk Phil Guarnieri was on hand to field questions.
“We have been getting a number of complaints from civic associations to do something in respect to the parking,” Guarnieri said. “There have been problems with residents from Babylon and the Town of Oyster Bay parking in the Bellmore lot, and the residents from Hempstead haven’t really had as much of an opportunity to park here, which has been a burden on them.”
“So, the Town of Hempstead decided to try out a pilot parking program,” Guarnieri continued. “We have set aside the lot by Center Lane and reserved 227 of the spots for Hempstead residents when had gotten a parking sticker. The idea of this pilot program is bold and persistent experimentation. We wanted to try something to help to alleviate the burden on residents. If this doesn’t work, we will try something different.”
Among parking information divulged at the meeting was that any Bellmore resident is eligible for a permit sticker for the LIRR lot. Parking spots will be first-come, first-serve, and the spots are available to any resident of the Town of Hempstead.
One member of the audience proposed that 227 spaces were not enough, and Guarnieri said it’s possible that perhaps all 1,800 spots at the Bellmore station could eventually all be converted to permit parking in the future.
However, he was quick to point out that this was not the current plan.
“It is very possible that, if this works out, the Town would consider doing the entire Bellmore station,” he added. “Or, if this doesn’t work out, perhaps they will feel the need to expand the parking to the entire station. We’re just taking baby steps before we take a giant step.”