Sag Schools Ponder Parking

The Sag Harbor School Board sent its vice president, Tommy John Schiavoni, to the village board meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the village’s recent ban on parking on streets near the schools. Mr. Schiavoni asked that the new ordinances, which affect parking near the schools, be reconsidered, and also that the two boards work together to solve school-related traffic issues.

Mr. Schiavoni told board members that school officials had not been aware of the regulations, which were passed in December, until last month, when they took effect. They ban parking on side streets near the village’s two schools during school hours, in hopes of opening streets and easing backup during drop-off and pickup. The village board acted after concluding that the school does not provide enough on-site parking for its staff.

Ed Deyermond of the village board, who lives near the schools, thanked Mr. Schiavoni for coming to the meeting after Mr. Schiavoni asked village officials to “workshop the situation” with the school. However, Mr. Deyermond added, he s has been discussing the traffic and parking issues around the schools since 2002 and had not seen much movement, except for a failed bond vote to purchase a neighboring property for a parking lot. “The workshop has not worked for me in the past,” he said.

“If there’s something to talk about, we’d be more than willing to listen. To sit down and drum up ideas . . . I’m sorry, I’m beyond that,” Mr. Deyermond concluded. Movement, he made clear, must begin with the school.

“I think we can do better,” Mr. Schiavoni said. “We have a lot of great ideas.” Since the new parking rules went into effect, parental attendance at the morning program is down, he said.

The problem will only continue to grow with the Sag Harbor School District’s purchase of the former Stella Maris School building on Division Street, part of a major thoroughfare through the village. The district plans to renovate it for future use. Mr. Schiavoni said a comprehensive village traffic study is in order.

Mr. Deyermond suggested that teachers might park at Mashashimuet Park and be bused to the school. “Works for Disney,” he said.

This was a good example, Mr. Schiavoni said, of why the two boards should continue to bat ideas around at workshops. Ken O’Donnell, a village board member, agreed there should be an open dialogue.

“If there are good, viable suggestions, we would be more than happy to work with you on that, but time here is short,” Mr. Deyermond said, making reference to the end of his term next month. He has said he is not seeking re-election.