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Elmont Residents Say Parking Problems At New UBS Arena Is Causing Chaos On Local Streets

ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- People living near the new UBS Arena in Nassau County say parking mayhem is driving them crazy.

They say fans going to Islanders games and concerts are taking their cars to the neighborhood streets of Elmont, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday.

UBS Arena opened amid much fanfare, yet locals say they have been saddled with something they didn't expect.

"I cannot even get over the sidewalk, over the lawn, to get in because I'm completely boxed in with cars," homeowner Patricia Romeo said.

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Romeo said she has been trying to go to home from the hospital, where she's a nursing supervisor. She shared videos she has taken of game night or concert night. She claims on Elmont streets there has been chaos and pandemonium, and out-of-control drivers.

She said people have been parking anywhere they want, urinating and cursing.

"They didn't build a system," homeowner Sheikh Islam said.

Islam and his family live across from the new arena.

"It's the 21st century. They can have an app. They know how many people are coming, and they didn't open the parking lot. They are just like, 'Oh, I want to make my money,'" Islam said.

The arena's parking garage is still under construction and so is the Long Island Rail Road westbound out of the new Elmont station.

Meanwhile, patrons have been inundating local streets, where confusing signs appear to allow parking anytime after 4 p.m.

Neither the arena nor the Islanders did not respond to CBS2's request for comment, but in the past they've asked for patience until the LIRR and the parking structure are completed.

They promised disabled drivers they would increase handicapped spots and reassured business owners that shuttle bus bottlenecks on Hempstead Turnpike will be resolved.

Civic leaders, like Bob Barker, say they welcome the arena, but at what cost?

"The noise, the pollution, the honking -- a total disrespect of the community," Barker said.

"This is just dangerous to have all this traffic in this area if there is an emergency," Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages said. "We need a whole new traffic mitigation system here. We need the police department to come and figure out traffic flow and work with the arena."

"All the people here, we are all professional people, hard-working, and with property taxes, exorbitant property taxes, it's unfair that we have to live under these conditions," Romeo added.

The arena, Islanders and police offered no comment at this time. The Town of Hempstead said it is working to strengthen support and expand restrictions.

With no one directing vehicle traffic or foot traffic, residents said they fear patrons parking in their neighborhoods could be hit by a car while crossing busy Hempstead Turnpike to or from the arena.

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