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Aug 18, 2015 9:40 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Parking Ban Near Surf Lodge In Montauk To Start Soon

The Town of East Hampton has begun enforcing no parking along S. Edgemere Street near the Surf Lodge in Montauk. KYRIL BROMLEY
Aug 18, 2015 1:35 PM

When East Hampton Town imposes a new no-parking restriction along Edgemere Street in Montauk this week, the impacts will be many—but nobody is quite sure what they will be.

Will the new restrictions push parking into nearby residential neighborhoods? Will the loss of what is effectively its only parking hurt business at the Surf Lodge? Will the new restrictions even be heeded by some well-heeled partiers unconcerned about the cost of a parking ticket?

Town Highway Department crews are to begin installing the new “no parking” signs on the west side of Edgemere Street, from Elwell Street to the beginning of Flamingo Road, late this week or early next week. With three weekends left to go in the high season, the area will get a test run of how the new conditions will play out.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo said officers will be watching closely for a new rash of cars parked on side streets in the neighborhoods near the Surf Lodge. If they do, spreading the restrictions will likely be an option to be considered.

Summonses issued for parking violations will not carry the threat of a car being towed, he added, because doing so brings too many ancillary costs for the town. But the chief said that his department will be monitoring the compliance effects of ticketing closely to determine whether summonses alone will bring an end to the parking problem.

Parking along the roadway on Edgemere has been a major complaint by Montauk residents when it comes to the growing party atmosphere. As perhaps the pioneering venue of the “new Montauk” scene, Surf Lodge has been in the firing line of complaints for eight summer seasons. This year, the chorus of complaints has been led by first responders and firefighters who say that navigating the stretch of roadway, which is clogged with people walking in the street when the Surf Lodge is operating, is hazardous and delays them on their emergency runs.

“Hopefully, it will get people out of the street and improve the safety and flow in that area,” the chief said of the new ban on parking.

Chief Sarlo, who was the department’s Montauk precinct commander from 2009 to 2010, said that if drivers stop parking on Edgemere Street, there is hope that it will leave more room for taxicabs queuing to pick up partiers—a condition that some critics have said is just as bad as the roadside parking.

The ban on parking also will likely mean a boost in pedestrian traffic along Edgemere, as Surf Lodge patrons park at the Long Island Rail Road station or on a triangle of grass owned by the Suffolk County Water Authority about 1,000 feet north of the Surf Lodge. Without cars taking up the entire shoulder, though, there is hope that walking on Edgemere will be somewhat safer.

The no-parking rule, which was adopted by the town on August 6, was a coup of sorts for the town. Edgemere Street is a county road and has been considered by most local officials to be solely the jurisdiction of county highway officials. But through talks with County Legislator Jay Schneiderman and other county lawmakers, the town won a nod of approval to go ahead with the parking ban.

Jayma Cardoso, owner of the Surf Lodge, said this week that she supports the new no-parking rule, despite it being targeted directly at her customers. “Yeah, some people may not come for an early dinner if they have to take a taxi, but overall it will be safer, and I’m not concerned that it will harm our business drastically,” Ms. Cardoso said. “People will walk a little farther, they will take taxis. We hope they will bike.”

Ms. Cardoso said that she and her management team are working over a number of possible alternatives for ferrying people from parking areas to the Surf Lodge. A shuttle, or several shuttles, from downtown or the train station or rented parking lots are possibilities. Some form of valet parking is also on the drawing board, as is the possibility of renting nearby commercial lots to store cars. They are all, however, also on the horizon—solutions for next summer, not this one. For this year, encouraging her customers to take taxis or walk to the property is the approach du jour.

“We’ll ask them, ‘Let’s be conscious and park at other facilities,’” she said. “Maybe I’m too optimistic thinking that it won’t harm my business. We shall see.”

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What a s***show this is going to be
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Aug 18, 15 11:14 AM
Ha! This is going to create a free for all atmosphere for the already out of control taxis. It's almost like the town is giving over Edgemere road to them so they can run wild, and that means speeding up and down the local streets trolling for customers who will be charged $50 for a 5 minute ride to Surf Lodge.
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Aug 18, 15 11:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
Maybe reconsider the Uber ban???
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Aug 18, 15 4:49 PM
How about Surf Lodge rents out empty parking lot space and runs a shuttle to the club? It works for Gurney's.
By ValGal03 (58), Montauk on Aug 20, 15 6:38 PM