If there is a constant complaint from many villages in Long Island, it is the lack of municipal parking.
While the Village of Mineola has several parking garages and municipal lots, many are in the downtown area and far from some establishments on the other side of Mineola, specifically businesses near Roslyn Road.
A seemingly empty parking lot on the southwest corner of Roslyn Road and Second Street across from and next to the Long Island Rail Road underpass has never been striped or opened for municipal use.
“I don’t know where it is now in regard to the village of Mineola,” owner Vincent Minutella said to the during its meeting at the Wednesday night, adding opening the lot would be “a huge benefit” to the businesses in the area, including his own as he is reportedly planning on offering food in the pub.
Several stores and apartments on the northeast corner of the intersection are vacant and have been for some time.
“I really feel like it would be an incentive for people to do business there,” Minutella said of the lot.
Aside from the old at-grade crossing at Herricks Road, the Roslyn Road at-grade crossing was deemed one of the most dangerous on Long Island. An estimated 200 trains and 16,000 cars use the crossing each weekday. In 2007 an incident occurred where a 63-year old woman’s car became disabled on the tracks and was eventually rescued by NYPD officer Randi LoCicero and er husband Anthony, chief of the Franklin Square volunteer fire department.
During the summer of 2005 the State Department of Transportation began the $24.3 million project to eliminate the at-grade crossing, completing the work in January 2009.
The lot had been owned by Allied Building Products until it was taken by the DOT by eminent domain. The property was converted into a storm water recharge basin linked to the underpass during the second phase of construction while the lot was to be deeded to the village and converted to municipal parking.
Village crews have reportedly been seen maintaining the lot, removing weeds, and using it as a place to dump excess snow during the winter.
During a with the , then-mayor stated that there was a commitment from the state to transfer ownership of the lot to the village. “This is a piece that’s still sitting out there,” Martins said, at the time confessing he had often thought of cutting the lock on the surrounding fencing and striping the lot. “If there’s an area in the village where we are in need of parking, it’s at the corner of Roslyn Road and Second Street,” Martins said in the speech.
The “DOT has been promising us that a lot for quite some time now and we should look into that,” current Mayor Lawrence Werther said Wednesday night, requesting Village Clerk Joe Scalero to investigate the lot’s current status.
Mayor Werther gently reminded Minutella if he plans on are serving food at his business, it would require him to come before the village board for a modification of his special use permit.