Meters madden motorists in Bay Shore

Parking meters that were recently installed in Bay Shore are drawing the ire of some drivers.

The meters were installed last month in a parking lot along Maple Avenue, where drivers often park before catching a ferry to Fire Island. The charge is 50 cents an hour on weekdays, and $1 an hour on weekends. The meters only take coins or credit cards, not bills.

Many motorists have complained that they've found the meters to be confusing or inoperable. News 12 stopped by the lot on Monday, and found several people who had trouble getting receipts from the machines to prove that they had paid. News 12 also attempted to use a machine, but the coin slot was blocked and it wouldn't accept quarters.

In the past, town officials have said that the meters are an important way for the town to deal with its $11 million budget deficit. Islip Councilman John Cochrane Jr. issued a statement saying in part, "It just didn't make sense to ignore a potential revenue stream for the town. Our goal is to have these funds generated by the program put back into the community, allowing the Town to improve lights, cameras, roads, marinas, and public safety."

Not all local officials are on board with the plan. "I question how much revenue they're going to make from the meters themselves," said Joseph McDermott, mayor of the village of Brightwaters. "Or are they going to generate money from the tickets they're going to generate?"

But some residents who spoke with News 12 say the meters don't present a problem. "It's fine, it beats searching for a spot," said Islip resident Jeanette Weill.

Islip town says a total of 48 meters will be installed, including some at the Bay Shore train station.

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