by Barrett Seaman –
Following months of examining traffic and usage patterns and weighing the trade-offs, Irvington trustees, in early January, passed a new set of parking regulations bound to please some residents at least some of the time. The goal was to “strike a balance” among competing interests, said Mayor Brian Smith. But, he allowed, “We’re not naïve enough to think we’ve nailed this.”
The new rules, which take up nearly 20 pages and four separate local laws to describe, still manage to simplify the parking matrix. They cover not only Main Street and its residential side streets but also Broadway and outlying streets, including Station, Hamilton and Riverview Roads, where street parking is highly restrictive. The new rules for Main Street—and especially its residential side streets—have drawn the most attention and public comment. Here are the highlights:
- Parking anywhere on Main Street from Broadway down to Cottenet Street is limited to two hours, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., except Sundays and holidays.
- Except for South Astor, parking is limited during those hours to two hours on the west side of the residential side streets.
- On the east side of those streets, however, daytime parking is allowed for up to six hours, as it currently is.
- Different rules apply to the three side streets closest to the Metro North station at the base of Main Street. To accommodate “day trippers,” people who go into the city for less than a full weekday, parking is extended to six hours on both sides of North Astor, on Main Street between Astor and Cottenet, on both sides of South Buckout and on the north side of Bridge Street.
- Residents without driveways and/or garages may still get parking permits (at $25-a-year) that allow them to park beyond the posted limits—except, of course, on the mornings when the streets are swept. But as residents of the streets closest to the station pointed out, having a permit is of little use if non-resident day-trippers have taken up the available spots. Christina Lomolino noted that the three-family house where she lives on Astor Street was built during the Civil War, when the need for off-street parking was not anticipated. The new rules, she argued, “could actually make things worse for residents.”
Other residents voiced concern that parking was limited near the village’s two riverside parks so as to discourage their use—currently the subject of another ongoing task force.
- The new laws cover a host of other details, such as one-hour limits between 3 and 6 a.m. for non-residents, with exceptions for police, ambulances, fire and other emergency vehicles, double parking, and rules governing the several municipal parking areas scattered around the village. Lomolino, observing that the core of the problem was that “there are not enough parking places in the village, period,” asked Mayor Smith if he had some ace up his sleeve. “The only possible ace,” replied the mayor, “would be the land at the south end of Astor Street currently occupied by the Department of Public Works, for which the village government is seeking a new home.” Resolving that issue, he admitted, was not going to happen in two years, though maybe five. By then perhaps, there will be driverless jitneys shuttling residents and visitors up and down Main Street and pizzas delivered by drones.
The new rules will not be enforced until the village posts revised signage which is expected to be done by early April.