With both the Great Neck Park District and the owners of the Shop Delight food market voicing great satisfaction with their temporary parking trial in the Welwyn Road/Shoreward Drive commuter lot across from the store in Great Neck Plaza, the two parties have agreed on a permanent five-year arrangement.
The Park Commissioners approved a contract last week that will now allow the store’s customers to park in the lot the six days a week that the market is open. The District will receive approximately $52,000 a year from Shop Delight and the store was also granted the right to renew after five years with a 5 percent increase.
“We think this is a good deal for everyone,” said Park Board Chair Dan Nachmanoff. “We believe that this has improved traffic flow and reduced double parking. The customers are certainly happy about it. These problems have existed for eight or nine years.”
“We had at least 200 comments either verbal or written or by email praising us for doing this,” the commissioner added. ”We’re slowly working out all of the kinks and there will be changes to our parking lot when we get around to resurfacing it. The parking lines will be changed and adjusted to make it more permanent, but right now it seems to be working quite well. Everybody is pleased.”
Shoppers have been using the lot since March 23 on most weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 and after 7 p.m. and all day on Sundays. The 4:30 cutoff is in effect in deference to commuters who wish to pick up their cars as quickly as possible.
Customers drive in and leave their cars and keys with the attendants (who are paid by the store) except on Sundays when drivers park themselves. Some have erroneously referred to the system as “valet” parking, but attendants do not pick up shoppers’ cars on the street nor do they deliver cars back to the customers.
Eddie Yakubov, one of the store’s owners, was very happy about the permanent agreement. “I know that my customers are happy about it,” he said. “It’s making it more convenient to shop and the traffic is moving well. We don’t have backups like we used to have and people blowing their horns and going crazy and getting upset. We’re trying our best to keep it as smooth as can be. Nobody’s complained about it.”
There are still concerns about pedestrian safety in regard to so many people who cross carelessly, not using either the crosswalk by the Post Office or by the traffic circle. The Park District, Shop Delight and the Plaza seem to agree that an additional crosswalk is needed, running from the store directly across to the lot. Curb cuts and removing part of the lot’s fence would be necessary also.
Yakubov is eager to help the situation. “If the village feels that there’s something more to be done, I’ll do it.” Yakubov says that he is willing to pay for any costs involved in a new crosswalk, including paying for painting the lines on the roadway.
Despite the fact that the system has been in place for almost two months, some customers are still unaware of its existence or try to park as they always have in the past, causing minor traffic problems. Store personnel and the lot’s attendants can often be seen aggressively waving drivers away from the front of the store and directing them to the lot’s entrance.