Yvonne Amato has lived on First Street in East Meadow for 31 years, but in the last year a certain issue has been frustrating her: the vehicles of Nassau University Medical Center's employees continue to flood her neighborhood.
On Sept. 10, Amato, along with fellow residents, John Nikiel and Roxanne Rose, met with Sen. Kemp Hannon and Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, R-East Meadow, to discuss their request for residential parking permits for people who live across from the NUMC.
Hannon and McKevitt said that they will introduce the request as a bill in January 2013, Amato said.
"Residents have no parking spaces," she said. "Employees are parking in people's driveways and streets can't be cleaned properly because cars are on them from around 7 a.m. to 4 p.m."
Nikiel has lived on Roosevelt Avenue for 11 years. He said that mostly patients and visitors park on his street.
"There is absolutely no parking on my street," he said. "We have had guests and they had to park down the block."
Nikiel said that he has also picked up waste, beer bottles and syringes that were thrown on his lawn.
The two said that their major concern is the number of strangers that walk on their streets to the hospital while children in the neighborhood are walking to the nearby East Meadow High School.
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"You have people coming in our neighborhoods and we don't know who they are," Amato said.
According to Amato, the problem started in June 2011 when the medical center closed its multi-level parking lot due to condemnation. She said that she, Nikiel, and about 30 other community members had several meetings with Arthur Gianelli, CEO of the NuHealth System.
Shelly Lotenberg, the director of public affairs at Nassau University Medical Center, said that 380 spots were built on the NUMC campus as a result of tearing down several old buildings and paving over areas near the old parking lot.
"It is expected that the availability of these additional spots will further encourage our employees and visitors to park within the campus as we aim to continue being a good corporate neighbor, sensitive to the concerns of our community," Lotenberg said.
Amato said that even with more available parking at the medical center, the problem still remains.
"We stated our concerns and Mr. Gianelli tried to fix the problem by creating more parking spaces, which he did," Amato said. "He did everything that he could, but employees are still parking in our neighborhoods."
Nikiel said that he was told by an employee who works in the neighborhood that New York State Department of Transportation workers were surveying the area in August to put a crosswalk on First Street and Hempstead Turnpike.
At the Sept. 10 meeting, Nikiel and Amato presented a picture of the surveyor's blueprint for the crosswalk to Hannon and McKevitt and asked if the project is going to take place.
"They told us that they would get back to us," Amato said.
Nikiel said that he also contacted the New York State Department of Transportation on the matter, but nobody has gotten back to him.
At the end of the day, the two said they just want to keep their neighborhood safe.
"Kids from East Meadow High School are coming home and all these strangers are walking around the neighborhood going to the hospital," Amato said. "That was our main concern from the very beginning."
Do you live on one of the streets that NUMC employees, visitors and patients park on? Tell us in the comments below.