Commuting to work via train is exasperating and expensive—add on the stress of parking and the threat of tickets, it becomes madness.
“There’s a lot of parking if you get here early enough,” commuter Michelle Vernant said. “If you think you’re getting a spot after 8:30 a.m., think again.”
At the New Hyde Park Train Station, there are 340 commuter parking spaces that line the train station from New Hyde Park Road to Covert Avenue.
The village maintains eight metered parking locations and four residential permit lots, totaling 122 spaces south of the station on Third Avenue, with 24 spots on Central Boulevard.
The village handles two additional rows of residential spots between South 9th and 10th streets.
“There’s plenty of parking,” said commuter Barry Fuller. “Do you see how far the row goes down?”
Resident parking permits cost $75 per year, while daily parking vouchers are $1 and $4 for short and long-term parking, respectively. Voucher spots are located at the train station and select streets near the rail road. Voucher spots sit between Covert Avenue and South 10th Street approximately, Village of New Hyde Park officials said.
Though that sounds like plenty, the sheer volume of passengers commuting from the station makes every morning a mad dash for parking.
“There’s a lot of parking, but it’s usually the spaces that are not connected to the platform that are open,” said Sarah Scooner. “If you’re running late and you don’t get a platform spot, good luck running to catch the train.”
For some, parking isn’t a problem. Jerry Faler of Garden City Park uses the station regularly and parks on-street. “It’s a good station,” he said. “Better than others.”
But for John Bapper of St. 10th Street, his block is filled with cars by 9 a.m. on a given day.
“Parking around here is always a problem,” he said. “I live here and I usually park a block or two away and that hurts other streets since I can’t park on my own.”
With the holidays just around the corner, it is only a matter of time before parking lots at the train stations across Nassau County get even more crowded.
“People should know that if they are planning to go into the city, parking [around the station] can be a little bit of a problem,” said Long Island Rail Road spokesman Salvatore Arena.
“Parking availability becomes more difficult during the holiday season simply because of the volume.”
As holiday shopping starts to pick up, MTA officials say more and more residents will be taking the Long Island Rail Road into New York City in much larger numbers, typically during its off-peak period. However the MTA says the increased ridership should not impact daily commuters taking the train during peak hours, demand on weekends and off-peak hours tend to spike around the holidays, especially before Christmas.
“The problem with asking about parking…is that every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”
For parking tips and a round-up of the worst LIRR parking situations, turn to page 10A.
—Additional reporting by Dan Offner