Does the village of Saugerties have enough parking?

Is there or is there not enough parking in the village of Saugerties business district? Talk to residents, business owners or elected officials, and parking definitely is one of the major complaints you hear.

At this Monday night’s village board meeting, parking or the lack thereof was the subject of much discussion. Al Bruno of the Saugerties Area Transportation Council, which consists of residents from both the village and town, said he had been tasked by his group with looking at the parking issue.

Bruno has found a Kalamazoo-based company, Carl Walter Designs, that wants to send a crew to the village and conduct a $18,200 parking study. Bruno said the firm would look at the current number of parking spaces in the business district, examine at aerial photos, study building occupancy rates and future expansion plans, and add in attendance at the various festivals held in Saugerties. Based on this research, it would calculate the number of parking spaces the village should have.


The company has already submitted plans for two different parking garages, either of which could be sited in the village parking lot behind Mirabella’s Restaurant. Both plans propose a total of 200 more parking places. The village could choose which plan was the more suitable one.

Bruno did not give a cost for a parking garage. The company built the parking garages at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.

Bruno made it clear that a parking garage would be sited in the village’s historic district, and would have to comply with regulations. It could be no more than three stories tall, and it must not be able to be seen from Partition Street. No problem, responded the company.

Mayor William Murphy said he believes there is enough parking in the village. “It’s just that people don’t want to walk,” he said. “People believe that if they can’t park in front of where they want to go, then there is not enough parking.”

Buttressing his argument that there was enough parking, Murphy listed the parking area in the Cow Flop across from Cahill Elementary School on Main Street, the parking lot at Saint Mary of the Snow Church off Cedar Street, and the village lot behind the village hall at 43 Partition Street. Even during large events in the village there are few if any vehicles parked there, said Murphy and Parisian.

Alex Wade, who’s in charge of special projects for the village, laid out the parking lot behind Mirabella’s, where there are about 90 spots. Wade said the trustees might just want to add some signage in the downtown business district to let visitors know of these parking lots.

Maybe there just needs to be some changes in how cars park in the village, responded Bruno. At one time vehicles parked nose-in rather than parallel in the business district.

No final decision was made as to how to handle parking. The trustees said the discussions would continue.

There are 9 comments

  1. JP

    As a Saugerties resident, I can tell you it is hard to park in the village. Lots of visitors on weekends and holidays can’t park, and a parking garage makes sense. The village is thriving, and if Saugerties business owners wish for it to continue to grow, people, whether residents or tourists, will need places to park. I don’t think St Mary’s or the Cow Flop are considered village parking. No one wishes to walk four or five blocks to get to Main Street. If you want to make money, you have to spend money!

  2. Chester Hartwell

    The cow flop is owned by the school board.
    Saint Mary’s is a private lot ?

    A mutli-story parking lot behind Mirabella’s does not relieve the impact of increased traffic.

    Sooooo what happened to the Sawyer Bank parking lot idea ?
    It is a private lot but during the last go-round there seemed to be some ‘understanding’.
    Has something changed ?

    It was proposed by Richard Frisbee that the Village purchase the church, knock down it’s addition and make it a wide driveway, then make the former church into a Visitor’s Center/public space augmenting the Retirement Center.

    During the car show -there is no problem with visitors walking to their cars-or none I am aware of.

    In this case a multi-solution approach is needed as an additional 200 spaces just does not seem enough to me.

    A campaign slogan of: “Walk Saugerties” (encouraging architecture appreciation)
    An ez to read village map showing landmarks and businesses.
    Repair and maintenance of our protected bluestone sidewalks.
    Home owner tax relief for better maintenance/code compliance.

    Folks-visitors come for multiple reasons, let’s review;
    -Birth place of Jimmy Fallon
    Art and Woodstock proximity
    -HITS horseshow
    -Hudson Valley residents doing day trips
    -Weekenders/second home owners
    (what have I omitted ?)

    Tourism is our business…our ONLY business.
    Gone are the IBM’s, Cantines, Sheffields, Ferroxcubes, etc.

    For the first time I tend to agree with our mayor;
    “”Mayor William Murphy said he believes there is enough parking in the village. “It’s just that people don’t want to walk,” he said. “People believe that if they can’t park in front of where they want to go, then there is not enough parking.””
    This is a common sentiment in our car culture.
    We cannot close the streets to make them open malls BUT we can make parking easier.

    Let’s keep this discussion going-it is vital to our success.

  3. Sawtooth Wave

    I think there’s plenty of parking. You want to see a bad parking situation, check out uptown kingston.

  4. Michael Sullivan Smith

    Rather than spending on a survey the village is better off seeking the advise of its experienced taxpayers. Ask Richard Frisbie what he has seen in his travels. Chester Hartwell is at different destinations that have worked out their parking solutions at the pace of two or three different ones per week.
    My comparatively meager experience is from August when I was in Crested Butte, Colorado for my son’s wedding. There I observed that Saugerties and Crested Butte are alike. The location of Saugerties relative to New York City is akin to Crested Butte as Denver’s Rocky Mountains weekend destination.
    Community investment in Crested Butte, catering to efficiently bringing visitors to an historic business district can be mirrored in Saugerties. The impressive planning that Crested Butte worked out over the past twenty years is well worth Saugerties’ consideration. Crested Butte’s development involved factors very similar to those Saugerties possesses. Its business district has been on the National Register since 1974; Saugerties’ is dated only a decade later. It has stretched that as a draw from a single season of winter sports into three, giving rise to a very robust, year-round sports-based economy beneficial to businesses for miles around.
    Crested Butte’s approach to fitting structures into the Rocky Mountain landscape would fill Saugerties’ need for parking convenient to our historic district; in the ravine that drops down to the Esopus west of Partition. An approach to parking like Crested Butte’s would have entries from lower West Bridge Street and from the level of upper Partition and Main in one multi level, spiral ramped parking garage fitting right into the terrain. Such a nesting would be virtually invisible and be placed on totally unused land only one block from the historic district businesses and restaurants.
    I would suggest that our mayor communicate with their mayor and find out what they’ve found worked. I’d rather pay for a skiing trip than a survey by a company that doesn’t know beans about us.

    1. Railroad Earth

      All the towns in Colorado have gained revenue from the recreational dope trade, from the Santee Fe trail to the Lowell massacre site to everywhere. Municipalities brought back from the abyss of nothingness say the local-management. NY has 557 voluntary to exist villages, Colorado has none and dope money. California 1/1/18 next. Upped their Medicaid payments both like new York and adequate dental care. Ulster has to fight for firing training centers while all around fires are burning

  5. JR.

    Why spend the $ on the study? How about asking some of the long time business owners in the village their opinion. The biggest problem the village has is business owners and their employees parking on the streets. Street parking should be left for customers. It is just commons sense.

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