Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is proposing a local law that would establish reserved parking spaces for electric cars and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) at local train stations with town-owned parking lots. The “preferred” parking spots, which will be located in close proximity to train platforms, are being presented to encourage neighbors to “go green” when it comes to selecting a motor vehicle. Joining Santino at the Bellmore train station to announce the new initiative was Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. The officials kicked-off the announcement by unveiling the newly designed parking signs which declare, “Electric Car and PHEV Parking Only.”
“Using mass transportation, including the Long Island Rail Road, is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint that we leave on the planet,” stated Santino. “By using an electric car to drive to and from the train, residents can demonstrate an even greater commitment to the environment. Establishing reserved parking spaces for electric car users at commuter parking lots is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to people who have opted to drive electric cars and encouraging more drivers to make the ‘earth-friendly’ choice when purchasing a car.”
The Supervisor’s proposal, which will be considered at the January 10th Town Board meeting, provides for four reserved parking spaces to accommodate electric cars and PHEVs at each train station along the main line with town-owned commuter parking lots. Affected stations include Seaford, Bellmore, Wantagh, Merrick and Baldwin. Additionally, the Oceanside, Inwood and Hewlett train stations will see two spaces each reserved for electric cars and PHEVs.
“This proposal will help keep our planet clean and provide an incentive for people to ‘think green’ when purchasing a car,” said Goosby. “We have a responsibility to be environmentally friendly in government, and we are working with the community to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Santino explained that the new electric/PHEV reserved parking stalls will be located close to train platforms. Commuters who use the spaces will still have to purchase a commuter parking pass, which is available for a nominal $10 fee. Additionally, all other parking restrictions and regulations will apply to those who utilize the parking spaces.
At the press event, Santino and Goosby unveiled a new reserved parking space sign, replete with an icon of a car with an electric plug extending from the location where an exhaust tailpipe would ordinarily be located. The Supervisor also painted the first parking space icon on the asphalt, designating the stall as an electric/PHEV space.
The town currently estimates a little over 700 electric cars and approximately 1,400 PHEVs are registered in Nassau County. Some of the car makes and models that are included in the electric car and PHEV category include the Chevrolet Bolt, Fiat 500E, Honda Accord PHEV, Ford C-Max Energi, BMW i8, Kia Soul EV, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Models and the Smart Fortwo EV.
The Supervisor also noted that Hempstead Town is currently applying to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to receive grant funding to locate electric car and PHEV charging stations that could be located at area train stations.
“Keeping the planet ‘green and clean’ is the right thing to do for our residents and future generations,” concluded Santino. “I am proud that we are helping to create a positive environmental legacy by encouraging commuters to reduce their carbon footprint.”