Saturday, December 20, 2008

Metro-North Parking Lot

I haven't had to commute much in recent months, so I don't know how the train parking lot on Meadow Street has been doing, but it was free of broken glass from car windows until Thursday. I pulled carefully into the icy lot that morning, delighted to see that there were plenty of spaces relatively near the train platform (normally I don't mind an extra walk, but my feet were blistered and aching from hauling heavy packages all over midtown in the wrong shoes the day before). Just as I was turning into a parking space, I spotted a glittering pile of shattered glass, presumably from a window of the car that had been in the space before me. I felt like I was being superstitious, as if any car in that space was guaranteed to get a shattered window, but I decided to back out and park a few spaces away, just to be safe.

Sure enough, when I got back at 4:30 p.m., there was a car with a broken window in the space I decided not to park in. Either that spot is jinxed, or the thieves feel least likely to get caught in that spot, or it's just a coincidence and both cars happened to have very stealable items (like GPS) left out in the open.


Wicked Awesome Cameras Inc said...

Hi! I googled metro north parking and found our blog. I would like to start commuting to NYC from the waterbury stop. Is it safe to park my car there overnight?

Waterbury Girl said...

I can't guarantee that nothing will happen if you leave your car overnight. I can tell you that in the past I've often parked there from 6:30 in the morning until 11:30 at night every day of the week for several weeks at a time without any problems. I have a fairly nice car, but I never leave anything of value in it. I can also attest to the fact that the break-ins happen during the day, not necessarily late at night.

As with everywhere, if you leave anything of value in your car, chances are good that someone will break the window and steal your stuff. GPS is very popular for thieves. Even if you hide the GPS, if any of the mounting is visible, they'll know you've got one.

A safe alternative to the MetroNorth parking lot is the Buckingham Garage (closest entrances are on Field Street and Cottage Place (next to the Post Office on Grand Street). There is an attendant present from 9:45 am to 7:45 pm, parking is free after 6:30 pm and on weekends, or you can pay $65 for a full month pass.

While the parking situation is not ideal, it's going to get better. The DOT currently anticipates that we should have a new transportation center, with 24-hour security for the parking facility at the train station, sometime around 2012. I've seen the preliminary plans, and they are very promising. We just have to wait three more years for things to get better.

Waterbury Girl said...

An update on overnight parking (July 9, 2009):

I have now, on several occasions, left my very nice car in the MetroNorth lot overnight for several days running. If I know that I'll be spending two or three consecutive nights in NYC, I park my car in the lot where it is visible from the road, and I NEVER leave anything of value in it.

So far, nothing has happened to my car.

There are still thieves smashing car windows in that lot, but not every car and apparently only those cars in spaces that are least visible. And, presumably, only those cars that appear to have something in them worth stealing.