Great Neck Park District commissioners discussed the possibility Tuesday of plotting out where permit holders for district commuter parking lots live in Great Neck in an attempt to alleviate future parking congestion.
“If we look at ridership now and the number of spaces now – if ridership goes up 10 percent it’s reasonable to think the demand [for parking] will go up 10 percent,” board Commissioner Bob Lincoln said.
District commissioners said they need consider how ridership might grow at the Great Neck station of the Long Island Rail Road with the extension of the LIRR into Grand Central station in coming years.
Lincoln said this could include plotting the physical location of parking permit holders in the area to see if there are any clusters of people, which might lead to finding an alternative to everyone parking in the lots. Lincoln also said the district would like to start tracking the time of day the lots are filled, which varies between the winter and summer months.
“I’m not saying we track it every day, but we should look at counting,” Lincoln said. “That helps us determine what the demand is.”
The commissioners spoke at the end of the year about the need to begin talking more about their parking concerns. It was suggested that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority be contacted in the near future to come in and talk to the district about exactly what will happen with the LIRR Grand Central extension.
The project, which would bring LIRR trains to Grand Central Station has been in the planning stages for years, with an original opening date of 2009.
Lincoln said the district is not looking to get into the commuter bus business, but that a good alternative to the parking lot may be getting some people to take a van to the LIRR station. He said nothing is set in stone yet, and that he plans to talk to some of the village mayors about the issue.
“Don’t get concerned that we’re looking to build six-story garages,” Lincoln said. “The reality is if ridership goes up, there might be an increase in traffic, and we have a responsibility to try and analyze what alternatives might be out there.”
Lincoln said the district has been involved in parking in Great Neck since just after World War II, and that a 2004 survey showed that people think the district should still be involved in parking.
The district owns three lots at Canterbury Road, North Station Plaza and Shoreward Drive.