MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Town Board has unanimously passed a law that will prohibit parking in certain areas along Route 6 in the corridor known as Restaurant Row.
The board passed the law at its Oct. 7 meeting after a public hearing, during which no one from the public spoke on the matter. The new ordinance will prohibit parking on the state highway in designated areas between McMahon Place and East Lake Boulevard (where the Shell station is located).
“This comes from the recommendations of former Police Chief Mike Cazzari, and Lt. John Dearman, and the Putnam County Traffic Safety Board,” said Supervisor Ken Schmitt. “They looked at this stretch of Route 6 as being problematic, where vehicles were parked on the shoulder of the road obstructing the view of ingresses and egresses of businesses along what is known as Restaurant Row. There have been accidents along this corridor and a contributing factor was obstructed view, mostly for people leaving the restaurants. I’m sure you’ve all noticed it—when the restaurants are busy, they’ve been parking up and down the shoulder.”
Schmitt noted there was one fatal accident in that area, a reference to a November 2015 crash in which a car struck a Jeep that was leaving a restaurant parking lot, killing a teaching assistant at Primrose Elementary School in Somers.
Schmitt said police and town officials had received numerous complaints over the past several years about the parking situation along that section of Route 6.
“My office has been receiving complaints about it and what can be done to limit that,” the supervisor said. “Chief Cazzari did receive calls as well.”
Schmitt said the board began looking into it two years ago and decided to regulate the parking there but needed help from the state Department of Transportation (DOT).
“Route 6 is a state road, and they would have to approve any plan we had for prohibiting parking,” Schmitt said. “We sent the DOT letters and they agreed and gave us permission to designate no parking zones, not for the entire lane but in zones we designated as problem areas—30 feet on both sides of the entrances and exits [of businesses] would be sufficient.”
Schmitt said it took time to develop the plan.
“The specific locations were identified by the police department,” he said. “This is the smart thing we can do for public safety.”
Schmitt said the no-parking zones will be marked with signs and, in some cases, pavement markings as well.