Alive After Five® solutions
The Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Alive After Five® committee has come up with a few solutions to both ease parking frustrations and mitigate traffic issues.
According to executive director of the chamber, David Kennedy, additional parking will be available at the Mt. Carmel Church located on North Ocean Avenue as well as a shuttle, in addition to last year’s trolley at St. Joseph’s College parking lot, to shuttle those who park at the church.
Both shuttles, he explained, will also be full-sized buses to accommodate about 50 passengers rather than the trolley, which only held about 30 people.
“We hope this will alleviate the parking and traffic burden of residents north of Main Street,” he said.
The committee has also decided to add signage provided by the New York State Department of Transportation to indicate where the shuttle parking and pickup is located. There will also be signage asking event-goers to respect the neighborhood by encouraging them to take the shuttle.
Kennedy said they have also committed to solely advertising for the shuttle rather than the event—which has already exceeded its intended popularity.
“This year it’s all about promoting the shuttle rather than the event,” he said. “The area behind the old Verizon building might also be available for parking. There will be plenty of off-site parking.”
Also, in an effort to encourage shuttle use, the chamber promises to run the shuttle for a full hour after the 10 p.m. event closure to ensure that everyone who used the shuttle has a ride back to their vehicle.
And, though Blue Point Brewery was originally considering using their new location, the former Briarcliffe College building, due to a lack of a plan to close West Avenue and for pedestrian safety, Kennedy said they are seeking alternatives for this summer.
He said they are considering stationing at the same site they utilized for Alive After Five® last year in the lot next to Bargain Bilge. But, he said, there is hope to find them a location slightly outside the footprint already utilized for the event to the east.
Kennedy explained that it didn’t make sense for Blue Point Brewery to move locations when they are located so close to the festivities but have agreed to give the village and chamber one more year to consider options rather than closing the West Avenue intersection, which would affect the waterfront businesses since it is the only way in for customers during Alive After Five®.
During the Monday, May 22 Village of Patchogue board meeting, Mayor Paul Pontieri was relieved, stating that he wasn’t sure what the solution would be.
“But Blue Point [Brewery] is investing in our community and has been a part of Alive After Five® since the very beginning, and we would like to accommodate them,” added Kennedy. He is hoping to discuss an eastern expansion prior to the first event scheduled for July 6.
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