Activity in downtown Roslyn is picking up again, with residential construction taking place at Roslyn Landing and in the Lumber Road area. But with modest growth, the village’s parking situation usually comes into focus. As 2016 draws to a close, the village has released a study by Level G Associates in Old Bethpage to assess parking in the historic village.
“While today’s parking and traffic problems are not as intense as they were in the 1970s, the village is still a popular destination and continues to experience parking and traffic issues that frustrate local businesses and visitors and limit the village’s ability to attract new investment,” the report stated right at the beginning, noting problems of congestion that come with the village’s ever-diverse numbers of user groups “competing” for parking spaces.
“The purpose of this study is to examine existing and anticipated parking and traffic conditions in the village and to prepare a coordinated program plan designed to address parking and traffic concerns in the village, improve mobility, improve safety, improve aesthetics and make adequate parking available for residents, visitors, businesses and future economic development opportunities,” the report further stated.
The study looked at the existing metered parking in the village, the peak levels of both parking and when traffic congestion takes place.
It also looked at new developments that the report stated “may impact parking and traffic conditions” in the village, including the before-mentioned developments of Roslyn Landing and on Lumber Road. While Roslyn Landing is not expected to add to congestion problems, the report stated that the Lumber Road project is “likely to produce an unmet parking demand of about 13 spaces during peak conditions.”
The report acknowledges that the parking situation can come into conflict with the village’s cherished place as a premier historic district. The report makes no recommendations that might collide with historic preservation, including the construction of multi-level parking structures. Still, the report does come up with several innovated ways to create parking spaces.
“We are suggesting a two-pronged approach,” the study stated. “The first prong includes the physical development or creation of additional parking plus operational changes that could make more parking available to downtown visitors and customers. The second prong involves policy changes designed to responsibly manage the tide of new projects or redevelopment proposals that will further burden the parking supply.”
More specifically, that includes reconstructing the village center parking lot to become an attractive parking “plaza.” That, the report said, would gain 26 spaces.
Another initiative would be the rerouting of the Roslyn Landing public walkway. “A new route that takes the walkway due south to the current driveway between the Grist Mill and 1353 Old Northern Blvd. would tie directly into the new mid-block crosswalk and parking plaza,” the report said. “Access to the parking area behind 1353 Old Northern Blvd. can be accommodated off the main Old Northern Boulevard access road as originally proposed on the Roslyn Landing Site Plan.”
In addition, the village should use the former gas station lot on Old Northern Boulevard to provide up to 20 additional parking spaces.
The following are more suggestions from the study:
• East Broadway lot. Improve lighting and visibility. Lack of adequate signage and lighting levels contributes to under-use of this conveniently located parking facility.
• Metered lot. Improve instructions at pay stations
• Eliminate space numbers in the Lumber Road lot.
• On-Street parking. Remove stripes between parking stalls. Research has shown that block sides without painted parking stalls will usually accommodate a greater number of parked cars than those with painted parking stalls.
• Sell employee parking permits. Downtown employees do not have many parking options. We believe most are parking for free along Main Street, East Broadway, Old Northern Boulevard (north of Main), the bank lot, Remsen Avenue and other locations. The village should consider making spaces available in lots such as East Broadway, the bank lot or gas station for this purpose.
• Public parking spaces in bank lot. Convert to three-hour limit or employee permit parking only.
• Junior League parking lot. Explore revenue sharing arrangement with owner. The rear portion of this lot is in the heart of the commercial business district and goes largely unused. It is estimated that at least 30 spaces in this lot can be converted to public parking on certain days and time periods. If operated by the village and metered for this purpose, the resulting revenue can be split between the village and the Junior League to the benefit of both parties.
• All metered spaces. Change hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Valet operators and downtown employees are using parking spaces intended for downtown visitors and customers after 6 p.m. In all, such changes, the report claimed, could increase the usable parking supply in downtown Roslyn by up to 70 or 80 spaces.