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Paid Parking Begins in Montauk

Thu, 06/13/2024 - 13:31
The cost to park for eight hours in the Kirk Park lot is $35; town residents can park there for free.
East Hampton Town

Paid parking will begin in some locations in Montauk starting on Saturday; perhaps most notably at the Kirk Park Beach lot, where an attendant took payment in years past. After Friday, June 21, cash will no longer be accepted there. In addition, 19 spots on the east side of South Edison Street, and 20 more on the north and south sides of South Elmwood Avenue, between South Edison and South Essex Streets, will require payment. 

Visitors have three ways of paying. They can use the Park Mobile app, scan a QR code on posted signs, or text payment. Cars displaying an East Hampton Town beach-parking permit can park at any of the three locations with no charge or daily time limit. 

John Rooney, superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department, which oversees the beach parking lots, was on hand at Tuesday’s East Hampton Town Board work session to discuss the changes. 

“It’ll just be easier for folks to get paid parking on a daily basis,” said Mr. Rooney. “The other advantage is that paid parking becomes available at 8 a.m., where we used to only have an attendant there starting at 9 a.m. So it expands the day out a little bit more, for folks who are getting to the beach earlier.”

The cost to park for eight hours in the Kirk Park lot is $35, while the street parking will be $25 for a four-hour session, or $35 for an eight-hour period. Parking sessions can be extended as needed. 

Town police will enforce the parking with new license plate readers that have been integrated with the ParkMobile software, allowing officers to separate vehicles with valid East Hampton Town beach permits from those without them. 

Councilman David Lys said the initiative started during Covid, “when it was challenging to staff. The modernization of this, and the use of this, will help increase non-tax revenue.” Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo was a “very large proponent of the modernization of using the [plate-reading] systems,” he said. While they are already used in town, this will be the first time they are used to enforce parking. “It’s something [Chief Sarlo] has wanted for a very long time,” said Mr. Lys. “In the post-season, we’ll see if the town board would like to expand this.” 

An attendant will be at Kirk Beach Park this weekend for the last time.

“I’m slightly nervous of the project,” said Councilman Tom Flight. “Some people are not comfortable using apps. Taking away that cash option for Kirk Park does concern me slightly. Generally speaking, there’s something about it — the quaintness, the character of Montauk — that’s balanced out by the challenge of hiring traffic control officers and finding employees. In the end, it will deliver easier parking for residents of the community. I’m interested to see how this evolves.”

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