Hearing Set To Limit Eight Main Street Parking Spots to Half Hour

As Sag Harbor PD Traffic Control Officer Emily Horn looks on, TCO Zach Kline makes notes about what time tires were marked on Main Street. (2016 File Photo)

A plan to reduce the maximum parking time in eight Main Street spaces to give more drivers a better chance to find a spot in congested downtown Sag Harbor will be aired at a public hearing before the Village Board on Tuesday, June 11 at 6 p.m. in Village Hall

Proposed by the board at its monthly meeting on May 14, the change in the village’s traffic code would limit parking to 30 minutes in eight spaces where two hours is the current limit for the same periods that two-hour limit will continue to apply: Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“It has come to our attention that we needed shorter-term parking here and there on Main Street,” Mayor Sandra Schroeder said at the May 14 board meeting, when the board voted unanimously to schedule the hearing. Faster turnover of the spaces “will help the traffic move better,” she said.

The Sag Harbor Variety Store’s Lisa Field, president of the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce, said this week the organization’s board of directors had called for the change in a recent letter to the Village Board.

She noted that shoppers often run into one or two stores to pick up a few things. “You don’t need the two-hour parking for that,” she said. Setting up some shorter-term spaces “will help the businesses that are in-and-out businesses … It will keep the flow of those businesses moving,” she said.

The proposed 30-minute spaces are clustered around the intersection of Washington Street on both the east and west sides of Main Street, not including two spaces currently reserved for handicapped drivers. Two are located just north and two are located just south of the intersection for a total of four spaces on each side of Main Street.

“Eight spots is a good compromise,” Ms. Field said, and they will provide “a good mix” of two-hour, three-hour and some longer term parking behind Main Street and two other outer lots in the business district.

If the Village Board approves the change after Tuesday’s required public hearing, it would take effect immediately after the new regulation is filed with New York’s secretary of state.

Police Chief Austin J. McGuire said this week he had been asked to look into the code change by the village trustees as a way to increase access to Main Street parking. “I think a lot of people get discouraged about coming here,” he said, because “the parking situation is pretty terrible.”

He said he had received no comments, pro or con, since the board formally unveiled the proposal. As for the village’s traffic control officers, who enforce parking regulations in the summer season, “It will be just one more thing for them to do,” he added.