Downtown Montauk will get an additional 40 parking spaces before the summer season begins. What’s more, the $10 parking fee at the town-owned Kirk Park parking lot will be lifted this year in the hope that more people will park there rather than taking up spots that should be used by shoppers and restaurant patrons, East Hampton Town Councilwoman Julia Prince told the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee on April 4.
The move is an effort to address parking problems that have plagued Montauk residents in recent years as the hamlet gets busier and people take up downtown spaces to go to the beach for the day rather than pay for a permit or pay parking fees. If the town doesn’t have to pay for an attendant at the Kirk Park lot, it could add another traffic control officer, Ms. Prince said.
Parking spaces along the street north of the downtown green in front of Bridgehampton National Bank will be reconfigured to make more room.
Others will be added on South Edgemere Road just east of the Born Free Motel, a block up from the ocean beach, with six more at the public parking lot at White’s Drug and Department Store. The spaces will be regraded, regraveled, and, in some cases, repainted.
The town, Ms. Prince said, took another look at a study done years ago that identified 103 parking spaces in the hamlet. “When we need more now, we know where we can look,” she said of the study.
Moreover, in an effort to alleviate expected traffic jams this summer at the Montauk I.G.A. and the 7-Eleven, the East Hampton Town Police Department has recommended that the I.G.A. have a one-way entrance off Montauk Highway and a one-way exit out the back of the lot. As it stands, drivers are prohibited from making a left turn out of the supermarket’s parking lot, but that is a violation that is hard to enforce, the police told Ms. Prince.
Ms. Prince said that soon “no stopping” signs will be put at the east and west corners of the Kirk Park lot on Montauk Highway. Committee members had requested “no parking” signs to prevent people from parking on the highway and stopping at a food vending wagon in the lot. They said doing so was dangerous. “At least you’ll get a bit of relief,” Ms. Prince said.
Also last week, the committee learned that the stop-work order issued to the Empire Gas Station has been lifted. It was issued on March 18 for the addition of a third gas-dispensing station that the permit did not cover. The gas station’s owners have agreed to remove the pumping station and will soon apply for site plan review for exterior work on the building.