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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Parking relief could come soon
Local law adding restrictions near NUMC could be approved by next month
Donovan Berthoud/Herald
Parking on residential streets surrounding the Nassau University Medical Center has been a problem since the hospital was forced to close its parking garage two years ago.

A new law intended to relieve parking congestion on residential streets surrounding the Nassau University Medical Center could be passed by the Town of Hempstead board as soon as next month, according to Councilman Gary Hudes.

On July 31, a bill signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the town the authority to issue parking permits on residential streets north and south of Hempstead Turnpike, in the vicinity of the hospital. Up until then, the town was unable to restrict parking on public roadways. The new state law outlines the process for the issuance of parking permits on more than 25 streets.

Passage of the bill, which was sponsored by State Sen. Kemp Hannon and Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, followed an outcry from East Meadow residents, who, for two years, have voiced their frustration with NUMC employees and visitors whose vehicles crowd residential streets, block school buses and add noise and pollution to the neighborhood.
The problems began in June 2011, when the hospital closed its parking garage — which held 780 vehicles — after engineers deemed it structurally unsound.

According to Hudes, the crafting of a new town law is now in its final stages. “We’re just tweaking it right now,” he said. “We’re getting very close now to moving forward some legislation.”

Hudes said he is hopeful that a public hearing will be added to the calendar for January, and that the legislation will be passed the same day.

Since the state law was passed, the town has been working with local residents to determine where and how the permits would be distributed. Yvonne Amato, a Third Street resident for more than 30 years who brought the problem to the attention of Hannon and McKevitt over a year ago, said that the community formed committees whose members went door to door, asking people how they wanted their streets to be regulated. The committee members brought their results back to Hudes and Councilman Ed Ambrosino, who represents parts of East Meadow north of the turnpike.

“The committee has really done a fantastic job,” Hudes said. “They’ve really spoken to their neighbors and seen what the people want.”

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