Commuters have plenty of gripes with the LIRR, but apparently you have only your local municipality to blame for the nightmare of the morning hunt for a parking spot. While the situation is different at each train station, the end result is daily aggravation. Some commuters take a train up to two hours earlier than they need to just to get a space. Others drive to different towns because the parking in their own isn’t sufficient.
Bethpage: There are only 980 total stalls; 726 are permit parking, 153 are unrestricted and 30 are reserved for the handicapped. Some commuters have resorted to parking in local business and public lots, like the library.
Carle Place: There is no parking lot, so commuters park in front of homes, leaving residents with no place for their own vehicles. Town officials said they have no plans to ease this situation.
Farmingdale: Parking is limited with 540 spaces across three parking lots for residents and non-residents with a permit. The village provides 62 daily metered parking spaces in the south lot. Officials say that the lots are at capacity, so many people just avoid parking and walk.
Great Neck: The Park District sets the rules for the 356 spaces that surround the station area. There are 180 spaces at the Canterbury Road site, 78 across from the Post Office on Welwyn Road and 98 adjacent to the station house itself. Some metered street parking is available, but that’s for a maximum of two hours. The Great Neck Plaza municipal lots have a four-hour limit. The Plaza has a limited number of three-hour, non-metered street spaces but their Code Enforcement Agents monitor those spaces aggressively. Your best bet is to walk to the station, ride your bike, call for a taxi or get someone else to drop you off.
Hicksville: The Hicksville train station has 2,603 spots, which includes 1,440 in the four-level parking garage. It’s all town run, and the spots all fill up around 8 a.m. Residents noted that it was chaotic around 7:30 a.m., and that a line of cars stretched from the garage all the way back several blocks.
Levittown: Residents here use the Wantagh train station, which has eight parking fields, with nearly 1,500 parking spaces. The parking fields are maintained by the Town of Hempstead. Town residents pay $3 for a year-long permit. A township engineer said the demand for parking at Wantagh has always been greater than the spots available and it’s presently worsened by the LIRR construction at the Massapequa station.
Manhasset: More than 2,100 commuters, many from out of town, get on the train here each day. The Manhasset Park District maintains over 500 spaces for residents only. There are three commuter parking lots. You can purchase monthly or annual passes on Manhasset Ave., as well as daily paid parking. But all parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Homeowners and businesses nearby rent out spaces. Illegal parking is constantly under the scrutiny of law enforcement.
Massapequa: The station has been under construction for several months, with sections of spots blocked off for periods of time. The station has 2,136 total parking spaces; 1,411 are permit spots, 422 unrestricted and 50 are reserved for the handicapped. These lots require a Town of Oyster Bay parking permit.
Mineola: There’s plenty of on-street parking, but it’s taken up by the hospital and local businesses. The 900-space intermodal center is big, but usually filled by 8:30 a.m. The village is looking to open a parking lot on Second Street and Roslyn Road, but it’ll be geared toward public parking.
New Hyde Park: There’s 400 spots, not including on-street parking, so while it appears there’s plenty of parking, distance is an issue. Most of the spots near the station are taken and if you’re not there by 8 a.m., you have to park far beyond the platform. Homeowners are impacted too.
Oyster Bay: The problem here is the shortage of train options for those riding off-peak, particularly if they plan on staying in the city past 1 a.m., causing many to opt for traveling out of the Mineola, Manhasset or Great Neck stations to avoid getting stuck without a ride home.
Port Washington: The town last year issued 3,210 parking permits for 997 spaces in eight parking lots near the railroad. The parking crunch appears set to only get worse. Some 40 spots will be lost when the LIRR extends the line as part of its project to allow train access to Grand Central Station. The police have to patrol what is a very crowded area even during afternoons, as cars that can’t get into the full lots drive up and down streets looking for parking. One commuter said he has to arrive at 6 a.m. to ensure a spot.
Roslyn: The MTA says that on an average weekday, about 500 customers board the Roslyn Heights station in the morning. But there are only 244 free parking spaces that cover two levels of parking.
Syosset: The station has 1,200 parking spaces stretched over six lots that require a Town of Oyster Bay parking permit. Even with all these spaces, the lots are jam-packed. Parking spills out into the surrounding side streets that allow parking.