GN Plaza flunks parking test

GN Plaza flunks parking test

In regard to Michael Glickman’s comments regarding parking in the Plaza (letter, Nov. 19), he is absolutely correct that the Village officials have neglected to address the issue in a constructive way.

At the (Great Nerck Plaza) Board of Trustees meeting held on the evening of Nov. 3, in response to the village’s proposal to revise the zoning code to accommodate rental apartments above commercial uses, members of the public expressed concerns that parking would be required for the new residents.

Fact is, additional parking is required for not only new residents, but for existing ones, as well as for commuters, shoppers, shopkeepers, employees, and delivery personnel.

At almost every Board of Trustees meeting, some proposal – to open a place of business, construct new housing, or manage pedestrian safety – is constrained by lack of suitable and safe parking. The parking issue is the proverbial elephant in the room. To imply that nothing can be done, or worse, that nothing should be done, is a sad state of affairs and betrays a lack of vision for improving the future viability of the Plaza.

In the 1930s the Long Island Railroad tracks were depressed below grade, eliminating a grade crossing. If that had not occurred, Middle Neck Road would today be the site of insufferable traffic jams. The present parking problem calls for a similar major relief initiative because the ownership and use of automobiles has risen over time. In earlier times residents may not have owned a car, but now they must; families that may have owned one now own two. This is the nature of the suburbs today, and Great Neck Plaza cannot revive if it continues to disregard this reality.

Our residents shouldn’t have to waste time prowling the streets for a parking space. The aggressive presence of code enforcement personnel is discouraging to shoppers, who must navigate a hodgepodge of parking restrictions and sub-standard parking lots. Owners and employees of commercial establishment are required to park on the upper level of the inconveniently located Gussack Plaza garage instead of closer to their places of work.

It is past time that the officials of the Plaza address this major issue as aggressively as they have seen fit to construct roundabouts and sidewalk “bulb-outs.”

While these improvements have been for the most part well conceived and executed, it is time to stop playing “small ball” with the parking issue, and it is time for the village to work with other authorities, such as Nassau County and the Great Neck Park District, in solving what is also a situation affecting the entire Great Neck peninsula.

Terence H. Eckstein

Great Neck


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