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Eastchester May Increase Parking Meter Hours

EASTCHESTER, N.Y.  –  One of the owners of Mickey Spillane’s on White Plains Road said that he may not be able to sustain his business if the town goes ahead with a proposed extension on parking meter hours.

“We would seriously have to evaluate our ability to continue in Eastchester if we lose business due to a new  law that will extend the time our customers would have to use parking meters,” said Mike Hynes. “We may have to move to a municipality that is more business friendly if that winds up being the case.”

Hynes is one of several Eastchester business owners who are upset that the Town Board is set to hold a public hearing tonight in order to extend parking meter hours. Currently the town’s parking meters must be used between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Under consideration by the Town Board is a new law that would keep the meters running until 9 p.m.

Hynes, whose business is located in the center of town, said he fears that instead of opting to have dinner in town, residents will head to restaurants located in shopping malls or in other towns where parking is free.

In addition to taking a negative toll on his own business, Hynes said that community based charities and events supported by local small businesses, such as the Scouts and PTAs, will suffer as well..

“We have the potential to lose a tremendous amount of business,” Hynes said. “And the impact would be felt among the many small, local businesses in town and prevent us from contbributing to the causes we support as well.”

In the north end of town, Realtor Barry Kramer of Westchester Choice Realty said that small businesses along Garth Road will also be hit hard by the changes.

“Why would someone stop on the Eastchester side of Garth Road to frequent a business here and risk getting a ticket when they can drive right through to Scarsdale and park for free after 6 pm.?” argued Kramer.

Kramer said the town is trying to use the parking meters to increase revenue, something the use of meters was never intended to do.

“Meters were designed to increase traffic. People would shop for a certain amount of time, then leave making room for more shoppers,” Kramer said. “Not to make up for budget shortfalls."

In addition to extending the hours on the meters, the proposed law will increase permit fees from $45 to $55. Patrons now receiving 40 minutes for 25 cents at 10 hour meters will now only get 30 minutes.

Supervisor Anthony Colavita did not return phone calls for comment on the proposed changes to the law. Councilman Joseph Dooley, who is the town board liaison to the Traffic and Parking Advisory Board, also did not return phone calls.

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