Everything seemed normal for Karen Truzzolino, as she made her way to her dentist’s office at 70 Glen Street, until she came up to the back parking lot and found that the once-free lot was now charging patrons for any visit longer than 30 minutes. The rates, which start at $10 an hour and goes up to $60 for 12 hours, she said was upsetting.
“It used to be great,” Truzzolino said. “But my appointments last at least 45 minutes. I won’t get free parking, and I don’t want to pay those rates. “
The change in parking policy at the Pistilli Metro Center building has caused an uproar in Glen Cove as dozens of residents complained on social media about what they called an overcharge in parking at a building that houses mostly medical facilities that tend to serve older patients.
Dr. Michael Kotkin, of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery on the building’s third floor, said he was shocked and outraged when he first saw the new payment options at the parking lot, which starts at $10 for the first hour. Kotkin explained that since the front of the building lacks any ramps, older patients who choose to avoid parking in the back will still have to go through the lot to get to the back entrance where the elevator is easily accessible. He feared patients might decide to go to another doctor because of the change.
“They have the potential to destroy our practice,” Kotkin said. “No one in Glen Cove charges for parking. Seniors can go to the parking garage across the street, and that might be okay during the summer, but what happens when it rains or when it snows. It’s hazardous for our elderly patients.”
Lawrence Greenberg, the property manager of the Pistilli Metro Center, said that changes needed to be made to the parking lot to prevent non-patrons of the building from parking there. Greenberg said there had been a long history of people taking advantage of the free parking lot, sometimes leaving their cars there for 13 hours despite having nothing to do in the building. Greenberg added that there had even been fist fights at the lot.
“We are trying to control a problem,” Greenberg said. “We’re not doing this to monetize the lot. We’re starting out high because we’re hoping the charge is a deterrent for those who don’t belong here.”
But this solution didn’t seem fair to Dr. Alan Morris, a colleague of Kotkin, who had reached out to management about the problems at the lot before. Morris said that while the tenants had hoped that there would be more active monitoring at the lot, with tickets given to those who did not have business at 70 Glen Street, the hefty price felt like too much of an overcorrection.
While Greenberg said that there were spots reserved for the tenants and some of their customers, Rosa Alessi, an accountant at James P. O’ Day Certified Public Accountants, said that two of her coworkers don’t actually have parking spots at the moment. And she said that while the lot used to be full on Mondays and Thursdays, it was now practically empty then.
“Right now, it’s probably going to affect the medical business in the building, and come tax season in January, it’ll affect our business, too,” Alessi said.
“There was always a spot open but now I’m just staying away from it,” Truzzolino said. “I’ll stick to street parking from now on.”
Greenberg said that the prices are subject to change in the future.