Mineola sets plans to modernize parking

Mineola sets plans to modernize parking

With a village-commissioned parking study ready to start, Mineola is making plans to modernize its parking infrastructure.

The village hopes to work with New Jersey-based Devo & Associates to implement solar-powered parking meters and smartphone apps that pay meters remotely at all its parking lots, Public Works Superintendent Thomas Rini told the Village Board Dec. 16. 

Rini said the new meters are a “really good” opportunity for an upgrade, as they can alert enforcement personnel when paid parking expires.

“You can get real time information out there, mail in now, or if someone says ‘That meter’s not working,’ you can actually go online and tell.”  

Rini said Devo has offered to rent the village three models.

 “If we like them, they will give us guidance as to what type of machines are out there and what the options are,” he said.

Rini said Huntington Station, Valley Stream, Rockville Centre, and New York City have contracted for high tech meters, which can collect parking data for officials to guide planning decisions.  

Some can also issue refunds for unused time — a benefit for drivers — or charge higher fees during peak traffic hours to encourage turnover. They can also tell drivers about available parking spaces in messages to cell phones.

How many meters the village needs depends on the results of the recently commissioned parking study.

The village board approved a $15,000 consulting contract with Old Bethpage-based Level G Associates Dec. 10 to analyze parking throughout the village. 

The firm is run by Gerard Giosa, a nationally recognized expert on parking.

Mineola has been plagued with parking pressures in recent years. The village’s new downtown apartment buildings, courthouses, Winthrop-University Hospital and the Mineola Long Island Rail Road train station, a major transit hub, are major traffic draws.

The village’s newest parking lot, Village Parking Field No. 24 on Second Street, is near completion, trustees said Wednesday.

It has a total of 39 two-hour metered spaces and two handicapped parking spots. Wiring and installation of meters, light poles and bulbs is underway.

“Even if we’re waiting on poles and lights, we can still open it up,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said.

The proposed meters vary in cost depending on the number ordered and their high-tech components, Rini said, and the price won’t be known until bids go out.

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