Depending on whom you ask, parking in the village has never been easier or more complicated.
Nyack’s new policy, which makes parking free during evenings but charges after 11 p.m., has either been great for business or terrible.
It’s hard to tell how the 90-day pilot program is really working. The new rules, which only apply to the downtown, only took effect May 15 and the village didn’t start issuing tickets until a little more than two weeks ago. Word on the street is mixed.
Village Administrator Jim Politi said the village is bringing in about $9,000 a week in parking revenues at its meters, approximately the same amount it was collecting when paid parking was in effect from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
“It’s still too early to tell, but there was some slight increase in meter collection,” Politi said, noting the village is charging for parking for four more hours each day. “Just in the natural course, you have a couple more hours out there where people can plug in and pay.”
People parking downtown now pay from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday to Saturdays.
Marianne Olive contends the added cost is driving business away from the village.
Olive has a unique perspective. She owns two Main Street establishments: the German restaurant Sour Kraut, which closes at 11 p.m. at the latest, and Olive’s, the bar next door that stays open until 4 a.m.
She hasn’t seen a spike in the dinner crowd, one of the promoted benefits of the new policy, and said she has experienced a “tremendous” downturn of customers at her bar.
“When people come into Nyack late, no one expects to pay money for parking in the middle of (the) night,” Olive said.
One person, she said, went to buy a parking slip at 11:07 p.m. but instead found a ticket on the car’s windshield.
Although parking for the entire overnight costs $5.30 — less than the cost of a drink at many of the village’s bars — Olive compared it to the mindset people have about paying a cover charge to see a band in a bar.