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Oyster Bay Raises Parking Rates; Drivers Say There Aren't Enough Spaces

TOWN OF OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – One Long Island town just approved a 400 percent hike in commuter parking fees.

Some people tell CBS2's Jennifer McLogan they'd be more agreeable to pay if only there were parking spaces available.

No parking, frayed nerves – it's a daily occurrence for Long Island Railroad commuters in busy Hicksville.

"Now they want to charge you for the spots that aren't here," commuter Ron Beigel said. "I'm not even sure if I'm going to buy a sticker anymore, because I have to park blocks and blocks away."

An increase to $100 from $20 for a two-year permit recently passed. The Oyster Bay town board said it's long overdue.

"At 20 cents a day, it's a bargain. Private lots charge $5 or $10 a day," spokesman Brian Nevin told McLogan. "We are asking for 20 cents a day, and it helps maintain the lots that people use every day."

The Town of Oyster Bay has 30 municipal lots and in 2018 issued 41,202 valid permits, but there are just 6,891 available spaces.

"Nobody is guaranteed a spot. You are selling thousands more parking permits than there are spots," one woman told the town administrators.

"Under the scenario that you have described, it is important to generate the revenue that will lead us toward creating more spots," Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino replied.

Overcrowded Oyster Bay town lots include Bethpage, Syosset, Glen Head, Locust Valley, Massapequa and Hicksville.

Commuters McLogan spoke with seemed cynical about when and where to expect additional spaces from the hike in parking fees.

"We are always looking for spaces. We even go into the mall," one man said.

"Going around at all hours looking for spots," a woman added.

Some put their cars in strict no parking zones, taking their chances. Is it worth a $100+ ticket from Nassau County?

"At 7 a.m., you're hunting and pecking and then you hope for holidays," said another man.

The town wants to remind commuters the number of parking spaces in Hicksville will decrease over the summer when the parking garage is closed for three months of repairs.

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