Return of the parking meter in Riverhead?

Downtown Riverhead

Nearly 20 years after Riverhead Town removed the parking meters along Main Street, there’s talk of bringing them back.

And this time the meters might extend to some of the parking spaces in neighboring parking lots.

The Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association supports metered parking, according to its president, Ray Pickersgill, who said it can raise money to create more parking spaces and, possibly, a parking garage.

In separate interviews, four of five Riverhead Town Board members supported metered parking, with Councilman John Dunleavy voicing the only opposition.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said she supports eventually building a parking garage in the former Woolworth lot. Supervisor Sean Walter said he believes the town will never be able to afford a parking garage, which has been estimated at over $20 million in the past. Councilman Jim Wooten said he supports metered parking, but is unsure if it can be done on Route 25 without state approval.

Councilman Tim Hubbard said he’s spoken to downtown business owners and members of the BIDMA and they feel the three-hour parking restrictions enacted in January for the Riverfront lot aren’t working.

“It’s difficult to enforce during the day because it would require the sector patrol officer to stop his patrol and mark tires,” Mr. Hubbard said. “People are leaving their cars there all day.”

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Photo: Downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)