Nyack Extends New Parking Hours; Some Merchants Upset

Downtown parking changes will likely remain in effect until November.

After several months of sampling a —and fielding a —Nyack has decided to extend the test run.

The test period comes to a close Saturday, Sept. 15, and local lawmakers decided Thursday night to lengthen that period until November.

The board is still able to modify or change the rules at any time, said mayor Jen Laird-White.

"We're not making any other decisions, so this is the smart thing to do," added trustee Doug Foster.

Earlier in the night, village administrator Jim Politi recommended the board extend the parking rules due to a lack of solid information.

"Data is coming in slowly," he said.

The new set of rules requires downtown motorists to pay for parking from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Parking is free from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

A group of residents and local merchants were present at Thursday's meeting, and quick to add their voice to the din.

"I am really suffering because of parking," said Marianne Olive, who owns three Main Street businesses—, and .

Olive said her bar traffic has dropped off 30-percent, and two of her tenants have already moved out due to the parking change. And late-night revelers are now parking in residential neighborhoods and irking families as result, she noted.

"Nyack has so many vacancies, we can't afford to have more," Olive added.

J.P. Schultz, who lives on Fourth Street and works as a realtors downtown, disagreed.

"For some businesses, the new parking has been a positive," he said.

Schultz said his husband works at a fine dining restaurant downtown, and has seen tips increase 47-percent since the transformation. Further, Schultz said potential home buyers can now stick around later after a house tour, and visit the downtown.

Wendy September 14, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I have a question or two... One of the lots on main street has handicap parking that ALSO has one of the older meters in front of it. Are the people who park there allowed to use that meter instead of the one you need to walk to? Also, do we need to pay on Sundays? I always get confused with that since you didn't used to but I'm not sure how the new rules change that or not. If we still are not required to pay on Sundays, does that mean the meters start up again on mondays at midnight? I've tried to read the signs but I'm still a bit confused... I usually just do anything I can to park where there aren't any meters so I don't have to worry about it.
Wendy September 14, 2012 at 07:46 PM
If we are indeed stuck with these new meters, I'd love to see some kind of system where we can purchase a reusable card that can be 'refilled' over the phone or web easily and have a matching sticker or swipe-method that automatically pay from your account or bills you at the end of the month. Basically, something wherein a person does not have to keep returning to their car or going back & forth to the meters. I think that would make the ordeal less frustrating and less dangerous for anyone needing to feed the meters when it's dark out. Perhaps business owners and/or employees could also receive some version of a discounted price as well, since they are the ones attracting the crowds? ...just throwing out some ideas/thoughts... But I do hope that some adjustments can eventually be made to create an easier process to just park your car. In the meantime, I'm going to stick to my good 'ol 'secret spots' that do not require payment to enjoy my own hometown
Bobby September 14, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I think it is the bars that make a lot of Nyack it certainly is not hurting Nyack. The new parking rules I think are a hurting late night business a lot. Parking should be free from 4pm to 11am
Richard Kavesh September 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM
The same goes for the dinner crowd, which spends even more for dinner than the drinkers do for booze. The idea that 75 cents an hour keeps people from coming to Nyack to spend many times that for dinner for two defies credulity. The question remains: what data will they use to determine if this new scheme is successful or not? Are they coming up with criteria now or did they have them all along?
Richard Kavesh September 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM
I'll leave it to a VB member to answer question # 1. Concerning question # 2, yes, you do need to feed the meter from 11 P.M. on Saturday night to 6:00 A.M. on Sunday. The meters then start up again at 11:00 A.M. on Monday morning. All this is simpler, you see, than the old plan, which just required you to pay from 11 in the morning until 9 at night six days a week.
Michael Zaretsky September 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM
One comment refers to residents moving out. If you live in the town in an apartment, and need to park in the street, the town should sell special permits for residents do they don't have to feed meters at night !
John Gromada September 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM
such permits are available for purchase- i got one when I lived for a year on the corner of Franklin and Main.
Randy September 15, 2012 at 04:28 PM
To the Village Board and the Mayor, thank you for extending the new parking hours. I ask that you make them permanent in November. I don't think any more research is required, the new parking hours encourage people to come to Nyack for dinner and now require those frequenting the bars late at night to pair their fair share. That benefits the resident of the village who have to deal with the problems caused by the bars like sidewalk obstruction, noise, litter, DWI etc...
elizabeth September 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Yes, thanks for trying to make the downtown a little less noisy, filthy, etc., for the residents, who enjoy the "walking" aspects of living in Nyack. Many, like myself, love to walk, but have been made most uncomfortable by the overflowing bar crowds, and the garbage and noise they produce. There are plenty of businesses that benefit from not having the noise, garbage, vandalism, fighting, puke, etc; for example, how many retail shops have had their windows broken overnight by the drunks from the bars? I personally know of at least two.
joie September 15, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Thanks? Nyack's largest mistake was allowing Black Bear, Pourhouse and now Mojos (2nd Pourhouse for Christ sake) into once was a very cool and dynamic town with unique stores, great pubs and a very good music scene. Nyack has managed to loose 2 of the 3 no doubt as a result of the annoying college scene raking all kind of havoc already mentioned above in various posts adding to this whole parking nonsense. I'm sticking with piermont=fabulous eateries, great music, no parking isssues and most importantly a town absent of the college scene. So lovely. Piermont's got their game on!
Alan D. September 15, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Dear Mayor White and Village Board, I agree with Randy. I have noticed that since the new parking hours, late night crime has dropped off. The bars have been more respectful in turning music off at the required time. And the dinner crowd seems more robust than ever. Great to see Nyack civilized again. Thank you! I hope you make the new parking hours permanent.
joie September 15, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Alan, let's have dinner together next weekend as I would like to know where and when are these robust dinner crowds. I was trying to enjoy a meal outdoors last night near to 8pm as the weather was divine and it was ruined by the main st young crowd gathering in front of both Pourhouse as well as mojos both places with bouncers carding so the lines stretched making it difficult to enjoy casa or omalleys. Main st is no longer enjoyable past 8pm and frankly, I prefer to not eat before that hour. My age demographic prefers dining later and we should be able to enjoy our meal either indoors or out w/o having to deal with the younger scene. And a scene they cause. I hope the new mayor and village board are recognizing the patrons less then age 50 but older then 30. Instead we are being pushed elsewhere to dine/music...piermont, haverstraw, Tarrytown, new city, etc. Having to leave nyack by 9pm because of the kiddie nonsense is, well, just wrong.
Marianne Olive September 16, 2012 at 04:30 AM
We were young once. Remember? Did you go out after 10 or 11 at night? These kids will all own your homes after you go into senior centers or retire elsewhere. Let them enjoy their age and their lives like we all did. The late night crowd is not so troublesome. I am there to witness it all at those hours. The big trouble is the empty stores and the huge amount of stores ready to close their doors. The night businesses are whats keeping Nyack alive. After the cost of paying the parking meter attendants, and the overhead for this initiative is there is any profit? The only thing Nyack gets from this is a negative reputation from all of our visitors that come. It does nothing but turn thousands of customers away from Nyack. Who wants to start a nice dinner at 9 or 10 and have to rush out to feed the meter, or may be too late to get to their car and instead find a ticket and never come back. All the churches and schools complained at the vb meeting. You can't show leniency toward some groups and not all. We the merchants are what make Nyack popular. Not the residential houses. The village board should be much more aware of the importance of the downtown and do everything they can to HELP all the merchants and not to hurt them. Take care of your ratables! Work together and not against one industry and one age group. All along Broadway is quiet and up toward Franklin for 30-50 yr olds.. The large concentration of young is in one area and thats the way it should be.
Richard Kavesh September 16, 2012 at 09:45 AM
Marianne -- the meters permit you to park for three hours, so there is no need to pop up from the middle of a meal if you've put enough in the meter to begin with. This was also true with the previous hours of enforcement. And people can also park for free if they're willing to walk a few blocks. What I see so far from these posts is that everyone is using anecdotals to support their pre-existing opinions, basically asking the VB to turn its decision into a popularity contest. What I would really like to see from the VB is the "data" that Jim Politi said is late in coming in and exactly what kind of data they are measuring.
elizabeth September 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Marianne, I'm sure your interests lie with the poor young people, who need to drink until 4:00 am, and have to pay a meter. This has absolutely nothing to do with your personal profits! Your altruism is commendable!
Marc September 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM
What was once a parking discussion has turned into a forum to demonize the young people who frequent the bars in Nyack. Young people bring diversity to the town. Are there some rotten eggs? Absolutely, but you can find less than desirable folks in any age bracket. As a resident of Nyack, you have to understand that diversity is what makes this town great. I don't frequent antique shops or thrift shops that often but on any given Sunday I see a whole handful of folks who enjoy them quite a bit. So be it. When thinking about what makes the town better, it is better to separate your own personal wants and needs and think of what is best for the entire town. As for the parking discussion, as i mentioned in an earlier post, The parking rules as they are now do not affect night business in the least. If you are starting your night at 11pm or carrying the fun into the wee hours of the morning, parking meter charges are very low on your priority list. On the flip side, I think we can all agree that a mother of two trying to fill a prescription at 4pm should not have to dig around her wallet for a quarter just to step inside for a minute. I believe even the average 23yr old Pour House patron would agree on that.
William Demarest (Editor) September 16, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Didn't seem like the parking regulations were an issue last night in downtown Nyack, where there were lots of people out after 11 p.m. Seemed pretty lively, with a great choice of places to go to hear some great music.
William Demarest (Editor) September 16, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Late night in Nyack.... http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=527898020556878&set=a.165471443466206.47247.136821039664580&type=1&theater
Susan September 16, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Nyack's downtown life is not suffering and the young people are not staying away because of metered parking. Nyack is the only Village in the county, with a huge bar hopping community. If the young ones, dont want to go to Nyack, their only other alternative is going across the bridge, which will cost them more. (Gas, toll, bridge, etc.) The most they would pay in a evening is cheaper than a drink. It is the night life that causes the most trouble and mess to the downtown area and they should be contributing to the clean up. So they have to pay to park, so they can drink all night. It will cost them, at the most, $5.25. It's about time they pay. I am sure to send men out there to clean up after them every morning is very costly. Residents can get a parking permit and pay a low monthly amount. I was downtown last night, and I don't see any bar suffering, and I have not seen a bar suffering for months. Keep the 11pm - 6am parking, its the best thing the village has done.
Susan September 16, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Also, something else. Nyack has been charging parking to the day business for years, while night business has not been charge parking at all. Its about time the night business does. They do cause the most trouble. (Clean up, broken store fronts, garbage, etc.)
Susan September 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Olive's looks to be doing quite well there.
Tom Lynch September 16, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I work at Casa del Sol. We had a really good month of May as usual. Then June 1st hit and it hasn't been the same since. All within the same week in June, the parking rules went into effect, the village reduced the hours we can have tables outside and took away 2 of our outside tables. I'm not complaining about it, fighting to change it or even really care anymore, but the fact of the matter is since June 1st our #s have been down. Maybe its just a coincidence because of the new laws or maybe Casa just sucks. Perhaps we should stop having FREE live music 3 nights a week and just hire a DJ and charge a cover. I find it comical that people think the restaurants are booming, when I'm re-working my personal budget to account for the significant drop off in tips every week. If you don't believe me ask another one of my staff members or someone that works at Omalleys or Olives and I'll bet they'll tell you the same. I don't understand how someone from the outside looking in can tell you how your biz is doing.
Susan September 16, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Olive said her bar traffic has dropped off 30-percent, and two of her tenants have already moved out due to the parking change. I have yet to see that while I am downtown. And a nice perk for your tenents is buy them a parking permit, its a nice perk, for you to rent your apartment and not expensive at all.
Richard Kavesh September 16, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Charging for parking is not meant to be punitive, nor does it keep many customers away, and the ones it does keep away are more than up for by new customers who will come to a location knowing that they will find a space. Charging for parking is simply charging a fee for something that is in high demand: prime downtown real estate during busy periods of time. Charging for parking and having time limits are good for business because they induce turnover. Free parking is bad for business because it makes the parking availability worse, as it clogs up spots that do not turn over. To be fair to everyone, what the village ought to do is get rid of the 6:00 P.M. - 11:00 P.M. free parking, start the paid parking at 11:00 A.M., and end it at 1:00 or 3:00 in the morning. This is not going to win me any popularity contests from either the dinner or drinking crowds, but parking experts will tell you that it is good parking practice.
John Gromada September 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I thought Mojos was supposed to be an upscale supper club catering to a slightly older demographic. This is how it was represented to the ZBA when they were applying for the huge variances needed for the larg expansion. I attended ZBA meetings where Patti Aagard and Friends like John Shields assured the ZBA that this new establishment would be nothing like Pour House or Black Bear but would strive to bring in a different demographic. It just goes to show that the ZBA cannot trust anyone, and should always err on the side of protecting our village. Can any of you folks who supported Pattis application defend what has happened and why it was falsely presented to the ZBA.
John Gromada September 17, 2012 at 03:20 PM
i vote for hiring a DJ and charging a cover
nyacker September 17, 2012 at 08:18 PM
how can you make judgements based on what you 'see' to argue with a restaurant owners who keeps accurate records and are showing significant losses? just because downtown looked "busy" one weekend doesn't mean the business owners aren't suffering.
Kevin Zawacki (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 08:56 PM
What are everyone's thoughts on a parking garage in Nyack? It's a concept that comes up time to time, and residents' main concern seems to be the aesthetics.
Harvey September 18, 2012 at 04:21 PM
The merchants and restaurant owners as well as bar owners will always complain about parking., wether it's meters not enough spaces etc. They all say they need more spaces and the meters???? please. NO ONE EVER STAYS AWAY FROM HERE BECAUSE OF LACK OF PARKING. . The merchants say their business has dropped well bet they would NEVER SHOW THEIR BOOKS TO PROVE IT! If their business is slow they need to look at their own managment and or service or prices and not blame it on parking.
Richard Kavesh September 18, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Garage not needed unless Nyack wants to drastically increase the density of its downtown. And would be so expensive as to never pay for itself. But Kevin, don't take my word for it. Read the Comprehensive Master Plan and the Parking Study and report back on what they say about a downtown garage.


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