Main Street employees react to parking changes

Public hearing set for Monday on plan to extend meter enforcement hours

Cars are parked on Main Street in front of the Olympic Center in Lake Placid on June 25. (News photo — Sydney Emerson)

LAKE PLACID — On Wednesday, June 19, all metered parking in Lake Placid became $2 per hour. Previously, metered parking could range from $1 to $2 in different places. Employees who work on Main Street said they already avoid metered parking and certainly will not be changing their ways anytime soon with the price increase.

Enforcement hours of metered parking may be changing soon as well. The village board will hold a hearing at 4:45 p.m. Monday, July 1, and the board will then vote on the changes at their board meeting directly after the hearing. Parking is currently enforced from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The change would move enforcement hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Swae Connor, an Adirondack Popcorn Co. employee, said she parks down the road in a free lot.

“I walk up here every day, rain or shine,” she said.

Connor, who lives in Lake Placid, said she does not think employees should have to pay for parking at all.

Swae Connor, an Adirondack Popcorn Co. employee (News photo — Delainey Muscato)

“It would be $8 a day for me to park on Main Street whenever I work and the parking pass is $200. I can’t afford that,” Connor said.

The parking pass Connor is talking about is a permit available to Main Street employees and residents that allows them to park in designated areas on Main Street all day without having to feed a meter. These permits are valid for one year.

In March of this year, the village board voted to increase the price of the permit to $200.

Since 2016, the permits have been $150.

Donna Ignatuk purchased this permit. Ignatuk lives in Jay and works at the Bookstore Plus on Main Street.

Addie Stanley, a Bookstore Plus employee (News photo — Delainey Muscato)

“I have to park my car somewhere,” she said. “I can’t ride my bike from Jay.”

Ignatuk said the metered parking is a forced evil for tourists, as they have no choice but to pay it.

Ignatuk also said she is worried about how the price increases will affect businesses in the less busy months.

“The downside is you’ll get zero people coming to keep the stores going regularly throughout the year from Jay, AuSable Forks or other regional towns,” she said. “They’ll go to Plattsburgh or somewhere else. Even though it’s farther, they end up saving on parking.”

Addie Stanley, another Bookstore Plus employee, said she never parks at metered parking on Main Street.

“I park at the toboggan run. I parked there even during the winter when it was like 20 degrees,” she said.

Stanley said walking to her car can be a taxing exercise after a long day at work, but it is a better choice for her cost-wise.

Owner of Man and Beast, Sabine Weber, said the parking price changes do not affect her directly because her business has its own parking lot.

Man and Beast is located at the intersection of state routes 73 and 86 at the top of Mill Hill.

“However, I know a lot of my employees have to deal with that. When they can’t park in our parking lot I know they sometimes have to park pretty far,” she said.

One parking lot Weber knows her employees park is down the road, forcing her employees to walk up Mill Hill and cross a busy street.

Kayla Gannon also works at Adirondack Popcorn Co. She lives in Saranac Lake and said she only comes to Lake Placid a few days a week for work. Gannon has the annual parking pass.

“I don’t think all the information at the meters is right. I don’t think the times and prices are correct at every meter. Since I don’t park there when customers ask me questions about parking, I’m not really sure what to tell them,” she said.

Some meters display different enforcement hours.

Ignatuk said the price change does not surprise her, but it does disappoint her.

“If it gets to the point where you’re thinking about how much of my paycheck goes to paying for parking, you start to wonder if it’s even worth it,” she said.

Starting at $1.44/week.

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