The Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors appreciates the mayor attending our meeting to discuss the plans for paid and residential parking. We understand that the board must weigh the needs of both village residents and the business district’s needs — but we would like to state that both are taxpayers to the village.
The biggest concern about paid parking on Main Street is that it will substantially hurt the retail stores. The convenience of short-term parking to run into basic stores, such as the hardware, variety, grocery and pharmacy, is what makes Sag Harbor still a viable, livable community. We are not “just a tourist destination.”
We believe that the suggested Memorial Day to Columbus Day time period is too long. July and August are really the only two months where parking reaches critical mass.
We are not in favor of a special residential-only lot. Our local customer base comes from all the surrounding Sag Harbor areas, including Noyac, North Haven, Mount Misery and beyond. The large lot behind the Variety Store and the smaller lot behind Schiavoni’s Market serves both sides of Main Street, and they are necessary for our customers, especially if paid parking is established on Main Street.
We understand and appreciate the reasoning to place the revenue generated into improving the sidewalks and thus the walkability of the village district. As suggested at our meeting, if this pilot program is to go forward, we would like to see it start by charging only for Long Wharf spaces this season. With the renovation and the unveiling of a new wharf, people may be more willing to pay for those premium three-hour spaces.
We suggest a more vigorous enforcement of the two-hour limit on Main Street in addition to keeping and possibly adding more 15-minute to half-hour spaces.
We request that the village hold off on a resident parking lot at this time.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce
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