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Partly Cloudy,60°
Monday, September 22, 2014
Parking a concern at Aquatic Center
(Page 3 of 4)
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An aerial view of the Aquatic Center, its main lot and two overflow lots. Merrick Avenue is at the bottom right.
After Hurricane Sandy, the county made the Aquatic Center available to Long Beach swim clubs, which are still displaced because of damage to the city’s recreation center. According to Aquatic Center regulars, the added visitors have made the parking problems worse.

Liz Hayes, a Bellmore resident, said she, along with several of her swimming partners, were ticketed on Feb. 28 when they parked on the grass outside the main lot. Hayes said she was particularly upset because, about a year ago, she wrote a letter to the county, requesting that it fix the parking situation. She said she also expected more lenience given the influx of swimmers from Long Beach.

“If this is just a temporary situation, they could just be a little more accommodating,” Hayes said. “I feel like they’re taking a situation where they realize it’s overcrowded, and instead of issuing tickets, they could put a patrol car in that [alternate] lot, or properly light that path, so people feel a little more secure about walking down there.”

But Lack said that adding patrols to the pathways would be unrealistic. “There’s very little crime in that park … When people walk a quarter mile in Nassau County, they’re not necessarily getting a police escort,” he said. “There is a significant police presence in the park at all times.”

He added that the Parks Department has not contacted the NCPD recently about its ticketing policy. “If Commissioner Foskey requested us to mitigate parking summons based on the situation with Hurricane Sandy,” Lack said, “we would.”

Further parking problems

Greenvale resident John Duffy showed the Herald a copy of a letter he wrote in 2007 to Jose Lopez, the Parks and Recreation commissioner at the time, voicing Duffy’s concern about the lack of parking and safety at the Aquatic Center. He received a response a month later, signed by Lopez and then Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, saying they would “look into this matter.”

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