by Max Cea
Few people in Nyack inspire universal fear and disdain like those men (and women) in the navy hats and powder blue shirts. Meter maids, parking police — they go by many names, but with recent measures the village has taken, fewer of them should now end in an expletive. “Free Fifteen,” a new parking option that was rolled out in January, gives Nyack shoppers 15 free minutes of parking to run quick errands. By simply pressing the green “pay now” button on the meter, a free 15-minute parking ticket will be dispensed.
Nyackers have Sean Spicer of Pour House to thank. Spicer visited a New Jersey community that had a similar system, and brought the idea to Mayor Jen Laird White. Nyack’s mayor, who hears almost as many parking complaints as the parking enforcers, thought it was a good idea, and might create a bit more good will towards Nyack.
“It’s worked well thus far,” said Laird White. “The one problem we’re having, the paper they’re printed on is very expensive, and the late night crowd thinks it’s funny to print out the tickets. If abuses of the system like that continue we’ll have to suspend it — or at least suspend it for certain times, such as after 11p.”
While the measure may improve the village’s reputation regarding parking, the measure comes at a small cost. It will result in an undetermined loss of parking revenue. “Our parking numbers are lower than they were several years ago. We try to generate enough revenue to pay for street upkeep. The biggest complaint we get is from people who’ve gotten tickets,” said Laird White. “We try to find a balance where people feel like it’s easy to park in Nyack, but we’re also generating revenue.” The mayor added that the disrespect that the public shows to the parking enforcers is often detestable.
Nyack’s parking meters remain in effect from 11a to 6p and 11p to 6a. Parking is free on Sundays from 6a until 12m. (On-street parking is 25¢ for 15 minutes; parking lots are 25¢ for 20 minutes.)