PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – New overnight parking restrictions are soon to take effect on North Main Street in Port Chester as a result of the infamous robbery of an unconscious man there last year, and in an effort to assuage noise and other neighborhood disturbances.
The Village Board approved a local law last week to prohibit parking on North Main Street from the Metro-North railroad bridge to the Connecticut state line between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. The current ordinance restricts parking from 4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. The new law should take effect within a week. “There are incidents that happen on the street after 1 a.m. that are creating a ruckus in the community,” said Mayor Dennis Pilla. At a prior meeting with the police chief, Pilla said, the Village Board discussed North Main Street parking and the inconsistencies that exist in the downtown area. In May, North Main Street resident Sean McNerney’s outdoor home security camera captured video of an unconscious man, since identified as Elias Rojas, lying on the sidewalk and being robbed repeatedly. The footage that was posted online by a blogger garnered unwanted attention to the village.
Pilla told McNerney at the meeting last week that his video contributed to the board’s consideration of the new restrictions. McNerney said his security camera is still recording people spilling out of bars at 4 a.m. and standing on the street, making noise and being disrespectful to the neighborhood. The view of the sidewalk is blocked by cars parked on the streets.
In one recent video, McNerney said, he saw “a guy coming out of one of the bars, sitting on my neighbor’s steps and using it as a dining area, eats his food … takes his trash and chucks it on the curb and used my yard as a latrine, basically. The police can’t see him because there’s cars parked all up and down the street.”
Pilla says the new restrictions are a quick fix as part of the village’s short-term plan to deal with traffic and other issues in the area.
“We don’t want to just move your problem from your block to two blocks in,” he said, adding that a more comprehensive, long-term strategy is in the planning stages.