Russell Gardens seeks handicapped parking spaces

The Island Now

Village of Russell Gardens trustees are considering adding three handicapped parking spaces near South Middle Neck Road to better accommodate disabled residents.
 Mayor Steve Kirschner said at Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting that the board was looking at designating spots on the corners of Melbourne Road, Darley Road and Dunster Road off of South Middle Neck Road.
Kirschner said the village found that there was a high number of senior citizens living in the four apartment buildings surrounding those three streets, who typically have a difficult time finding parking.
“We felt that this would be more of a service to the people in those four apartment buildings who have handicapped parking permits,” he said.
The proposed handicapped parking spaces would be on the south side of Melbourne Road and south side of Dunster Road, both the first parking space west of South Middle Neck Road.
The third spot, on the south side of Darley Road and west of South Middle Neck Road, is designated as a handicapped parking space for a resident who is a World War II veteran and was born before Jan. 1, 1927, Kirschner said.
One resident, who said she lives at the apartment building at 140 South Middle Neck Road, said adding handicapped parking spaces is making  parking more difficult for residents in the surrounding four buildings.
“It’s worse and worse than ever to find a parking spot on any of the side streets,” she said. “Those designated spots have now taken away from other people who need a parking spot.”
Another resident questioned why the village would not allow on-street parking on side streets.
The village does not permit on-street parking between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Kirschner said that the village’s streets were not wide enough to permit parking on both sides of the street and that residents in single-family homes found it difficult to back out of their driveways when cars were previously permitted to park on the street.
A public hearing on the proposed addition of handicapped parking spaces is set for the Sept. 1 board meeting.

By Joe Nikic

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