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Nov 23, 2010 4:45 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Village Board Suspends ParkingTime Limits on Tuesdays

Nov 23, 2010 4:45 PM

In an effort to aid Main Street merchants in their quest to draw bigger holiday crowds, the East Hampton Village Board on Thursday agreed to temporarily suspend the two-hour parking time limit on Tuesdays at two village parking lots. Beginning on November 30 and continuing
every Tuesday through
December, the parking restrictions will be lifted in the Reutershan and Schenck parking lots to help bolster the “Come Home to Main Street” campaign.

“There was a group, which approached the board. They are very entrepreneurial and wished to stimulate the village’s economic activity before the winter season,” commented Mayor Paul Rickenbach at last week’s meeting. “As a board we support this campaign and think it is great. Those individuals that want to take advantage of a full day in the village with shopping, lunch and a matinee can do so without fear of getting some kind of a parking ticket.”

A parking violation at the Schenck lot, located behind the stores on the northeast side of Newtown Lane, or the Reutershan lot, located between Herrick Park and Main Street, usually results in a $60 fine.

The mayor also added that village business owners and their employees should not use the Tuesday parking suspension as occasion to park in the lots, but rather leave those spaces available for shoppers taking advantage of the village’s discount day.

Offering a 15 percent discount at selected retail locations such as BookHampton, White’s Pharmacy, Bonne Nuit and Tennis East, among others, the “Come Home to Main Street” campaign offers “day passes” for village shoppers each Tuesday. The daily discount passbook will be available at BookHampton, and in addition to retail rollbacks, offers lunch discounts at some of the village’s most popular restaurants such as Rowdy Hall, Babette’s and The Palm.

While promoting business on Main Street, retailers also want visitors to know the “Come Home to Main Street” campaign is not just about shopping, but a day to appreciate the village’s historic charm. Rounding out the Tuesday markdowns on shopping and lunch, a free matinee movie will be shown in the John Drew Theater in Guild Hall at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but a donation is suggested, with
the proceeds going to 
support the East Hampton Food Pantry.

“I think it’s imperative that people feel welcomed to the village,” explained Charline Spektor, co-owner of BookHampton. “It gets in the way of shopping, 
lunching or strolling, if you have to look at your watch or move your car.”

Ms. Spektor, who was one of those to propose the parking rules suspension to the Village Board, added, “Once people are in their car they are more inclined to leave.”

This is the first time Main Street merchants have attempted the discount campaign and hope that it will put a more positive spin on the village in the winter months.

In other action, the board has also submitted plans to the New York State Department of Transportation to illuminate two crosswalks at Huntting Lane and the Circle and Main Street.

Ron Hill, of Dunn Engineering, explained that the plan calls for LED lights to be placed in the pavement. They will flash after a pedestrian pushes an activation button located on both sides of the crosswalk to warn motorists that someone is trying to cross the street. Mr. Hill said he expected the state to comment on the plans shortly, but no dates for the project have been determined.

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Terrific idea. Perhaps advertise these special Tuesdays in local papers up the island to bring in day visitors from Western Suffolk and Nassau.
By P.A.B. (23), East Hampton on Nov 24, 10 9:58 AM
I no longer live in East Hampton but as a former resident who worked in the village of East Hampton I continue to believe that the two hour parking limit hurts more than it helps. The board should really suspend the two hour limit during the week from mid-October until early April.
By Rich Morey (368), Brooklyn on Nov 27, 10 11:04 PM
What does it matter? 1/2 the stores in the village are vacant.
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Nov 27, 10 11:25 PM
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