Town of Hempstead officials gathered in Bellmore on Sept. 28 to announce the launch of a new permit-parking program for a portion of the lots at the Long Island Rail Road station at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Sunrise Highway.
Town officials said they are beginning the program in Bellmore, but are considering extending it to Merrick in the near future.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Councilwoman Angie Cullin and Councilman Gary Hudes appeared at the Bellmore train station to offer details on the pilot program. Next month, permits will be issued for 227 commuter parking spaces, which will be reserved for Town of Hempstead residents.
All 1,800 parking spaces at the Bellmore train station are now open to commuters from any municipality. The new program, Murray said, will help ensure that there are more parking opportunities for town residents.
“We believe the launching of this parking program at the Bellmore train station will provide greater parking access to our residents who utilize the train,” she said. “The issuance of resident parking permits at the Bellmore train station will certainly be welcomed by our township’s hardworking residents who commute to work every day.”
Murray explained that LIRR officials consulted with the town about the design of permit parking maps and identified areas that would be open to permit holders only. LIRR President Helena Williams and her staff played an important role in developing the program, according to the supervisor.
For her part, Williams said she appreciated the fact that the town consulted with the LIRR in the planning process. “We applaud the town’s efforts to encourage LIRR ridership,” she said. “We need more people to stay off the highways and use the LIRR.”
Finding parking spaces has been a topic of discussion among several community groups, including the nearby North and Central Merrick Civic Association. NCMCA President Claudia Borecky said she formed an LIRR Parking Lot Task Force that worked with County Legislator Dave Denenberg’s Commuter Council for several years on parking issues in Bellmore-Merrick.