Yesterday’s New York Times marked the final edition of the Sunday “Westchester” section of the paper, which had long been a good source of local commuter news.
Sure, Timesman Ken Belson covers transit issues doggedly, but the Westchester section, as the name suggests, frequently covered the commuting life on a much more local, and personal, level. There was the trend story on reverse commuting, another on the pants-ripping armrests, and occasionally, an entire edition devoted primarily to commuting.
[Full disclosure: I did a lot of stories for the Westchester section since moving to the 9-1-4 a few years ago. I’ll miss the beer money.]
In this final edition, Nicole Neroulias writes about valet parking at Scarborough station in Briarcliff Manor, and brutal waiting lists in Rye and other towns. (For a peek at how the sausage is made, she’d reached out to a certain smartass commuter blog last month for some good leads on Metro-North parking lot issues.] The concept of valet parking at train station parking lots is intriguing; we’re almost certain we saw a case of it just once at Hawthorne.
In Briarcliff, it appears everyone pays for the valet service as part of their annual fee–whethe they use the valet service or not. Most seem to appreciate it.
The valet service, which is paid for by an increase in the annual parking fee for all permit-holders to $550 from $350, is used by about 94 cars a day, said Ray Gutierrez, manager at Propark America. (Scarsdale, where the valet service costs $120 a month or $11 a day, averages 170 users.)
Some Briarcliff Manor residents grumble about the higher parking fee, particularly those who take early trains and rarely have trouble finding a spot. But for later commuters like Mr. Midgley, being able to bypass the pay-per-day spots makes up the difference; building a garage would probably cost more in permit prices or taxes for all residents, he said.
Starting next week, the Sunday “Westchester” section–and similar sections in Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island and the city–will be replaced by a section called “Metropolitan”–which sounds a bit like that “Metro” section the Times had each day until a few months ago.