NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Parking issues in downtown New Rochelle, partially caused by the opening of new restaurants, prompted the city to authorize funding this week for a parking study.
The city approved a $5,000 budget amendment to the Business Improvement District to help pay for the estimated $8,600 study. The consulting firm TimHaahs and Associates was hired by the BID to conduct the analysis.
The area that will be studied is the core restaurant district consisting of restaurants and retail shops bounded by Division Street, Main Street, Memorial Highway and Huguenot Street.
Most on-street and off-street parking in the area is at full occupancy, so in order to provide parking for patrons, several restaurants have implemented on-street valet services to park cars at remote locations, according to a submission made by TimHaahs to BID Executive Director Ralph DiBart dated Jan. 23.
These valet operations are not approved or regulated by the city. In addition, the services are reportedly inconvenient for some patrons due to the remote parking locations and the time it sometimes takes to retrieve cars.
Parking is bothersome in other ways, as well. Councilman Ivar Hyden said that on nights when there are events at Top of the Rock at Avalon II, attendees park at the nearby library, but do not seem to be paying for spaces there.
“I would think that maybe we should pay more attention when that happens,” said Hyden. “It’s very difficult when library lots are filled up and we’re not even getting the revenue.”
In a Feb. 1 memo from City Manager Chuck Strome to Mayor Noam Bramson and the City Council, Strome said the firm would study possible solutions for parking problems.
“These solutions could include the use of additional public and private parking facilities, the implementation of a valet parking program that would allow for the use of public right-of-way and on-street parking spaces for the valet program, and possible strategies to improve access to and from downtown parking facilities,” wrote Strome.