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Sep 10, 2019 2:42 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hit-And-Runs Cause Bank To Reconsider Crammed Parking Lot In East Hampton Village

Steven Ferrante, the facility manager for the bank, and branch manager, Jennifer Marinacci. ELIZABETH VESPE
Sep 10, 2019 3:44 PM

Employees at Chase Bank in East Hampton have been victimized by hit-and-run accidents involving their parked cars, Jennifer Marinacci, branch manager, told the East Hampton Village Board on Friday.

Village Administrator Rebecca Molinaro Hansen said the village has received a request from the bank to remove the six center parking spots in the lot behind the bank, which are typically used by employees and customers, to fix the problem.

Ms. Hansen said that in 2004, the bank, then named Bank of New York, and the village entered into an agreement, which is renewed annually, in which the village can use half of the spots for public parking, and the bank retains 15 for employees and customers.

The Village Police Department patrols the lot and enforces parking limits for the public use spaces, and does basic lot maintenance and snow and ice removal. Chase is responsible for landscaping and capital improvements.

“The desire was to provide additional public parking spaces in the commercial district, where not all spaces are necessarily being used by the private owner,” Ms. Hansen said.

Steven Ferrante, the bank’s facility manager, said that the angled parking spots down the center cause a “great deal of damage to the employees’ cars.”

“Unfortunately, I’ve had five employees, each one of their cars were damaged in hit-and-runs,” he told the board, adding that two out of the five vehicles were leased.

“It’s just hectic to get in and out of the parking lot,” Mr. Ferrante said. “For safety reasons, we’d like to have those spots eliminated.”

Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. asked what it would take to have those Chase employees park in the long-term parking lot and walk through the park to work instead. “I’m trying to be equitable here,” the mayor said. “With all due respect, we do have long-term parking.”

But according to Ms. Marinacci, there are security reasons surrounding employees who open the bank each morning. She said those two or three opening employees must park in close proximity to the bank. She said she could not elaborate further due to safety concerns.

“There’s an opening procedure, where the employees will stay in their vehicle — God forbid someone is in the bushes … It’s a security-related issue, so that’s why they’re there,” Mr. Ferrante explained.

The lot has 31 parking spots. With the center row removed, that would be reduced to approximately 27. The hope, however, is that good engineering could even expand the lot’s current capacity.

Ms. Marinacci added that it is tough for vehicles to get through the lot safely and said that when customers’ cars have been hit, they confront the bank.

“It is very crammed,” board member Rose Brown agreed. “This would probably be a better flow for the parking lot.”

Mr. Rickenbach said he’d like to get the village engineer, Drew Bennett, involved in designing a new layout for the lot before going any further.

“I think it’s for the benefit of both parties,” the mayor said of the bank working with the village to create a better flow of traffic and safer parking for employees and customers.

On another note, board member Richard Lawler expressed concern about the village losing the six parking spots. “In other words, you’re going to maintain the same number of permits you have … there could be 15 spots used up,” he said, adding that maybe the bank and village could compromise and the bank could receive fewer parking permits in the future.

David Collins of the Department of Public Works said there would be a way to reconfigure the lot without losing any spots.

“I think it would be in our best interest to have our engineer scope that,” the mayor said. “Let’s see if we can somehow come up with a better solution.”

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That parking lot is AWFUL!!! Multiple times I've tried to pull into a space in my truck and just gotten frustrated because its very likely someone will back into my truck if I leave it or I will block someone from leaving. Then there are the A holes that "park" in non spots creating even LESS room to navigate around to leave. I avoid parking in that lot as often as possible.
By Rich Morey (373), East Hampton on Sep 10, 19 8:39 PM
If this isn't just the penultimate Hampton's response - instead of having the police install cameras to catch, punish and hold responsible those committing illegal hit and runs, they punish the law abiding people by taking away parking spaces in an already overcrowded lot that no one can find a spot in on the best of days. Plus they can't even count correctly. They claim there are only 4 center spaces, when even the Google Maps clearly shows there are 7 spaces. Then they claim there are 31 total ...more
By localEH (426), East Hampton on Sep 16, 19 5:11 PM
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