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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On-street parking permits for Plainfield?

Is it time for Plainfield to adopt overnight on-street parking permits?

One of the less pleasant consequences of the management of Connolly Properties has been the mushrooming parking of cars overnight on city streets near Connolly Properties buildings. This is no doubt a consequence of their policy of charging renters -- who, under previous owner Fred Tedesco, got a parking space included with the rent -- a monthly parking fee.

But besides the influx of onstreet cars in Connolly neighborhoods, I have noticed many streets which formerly were lightly parked now lined block after block by cars jammed bumper to bumper even as the neighborhood driveways are full of vehicles.

Whatever the reasons for the burgeoning on-street presence is -- and it can range from more cars per household to more cars because of illegal apartments and rooming house arrangements -- it provides both dangers and opportunities for the city.


Crowding the streets with cars can lead to more traffic accidents, as in my block of West 7th Street, which seems particularly prone to them on account of the jog in the road between Plainfield and Spooner Avenues.


Other towns take a proactive stance toward on-street parking, allowing it with permits, and turning it into an income opportunity where funds are increasingly tight.

Take Montclair, for example.

Montclair has long had overnight parking rules, and revised them effective this past July 1st (see Ledger story here and Baristanet blog's background here).

Residents can get overnight permits two ways -- on an single-use, as-needed basis, for $5; and a six-month permit for $240. Currently, the six-month permits are for use in town lots, but the Council plans to roll the permits out to neighborhood streets.

If there are 16,000 vehicles in Plainfield (a conservative estimate of one per household), and even a quarter park on the streets (again, I think, a conservative estimate), that could mean approximately 4,000 permits at $240 for a six-month tag, or approximately $1.9 million in receipts on an annualized basis.

Montclair also got a one-time extra dollop: Enforcement of the new rules began after a six-month moratorium. In the first two weeks, about 1,000 tickets were issued for parking without a permit -- netting the town another $30,000 or so.

As one Council member said --
"It's a complicated issue, trying to come up with something that works, that pleases the largest number and infuriates the smallest number" of people...
Maybe the time to please and infuriate has come for Plainfield.

-- Dan Damon

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Anonymous said...

So do you please the largest number of people and don't issue parking tickets, or do you please an even larger number of people - the taxpayers-and limit their taxes.

I am finding that the reason Plainfield is in such a mess is because administrations bend to pressure. Issue the tickets for vegetation on the streets, issue the tickets for poor sidewalks and issue the tickets for satellite dishes that can be viewed from the street.

What in the heck do we have an inspections department for if we get no revenue? Issue the citations - don't back down for the first few months - and people will start complying. Let's get going!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a shame that for political reasons Council doesn't pay attention to good suggestions from Plainfield's blogers and meeting speakers.


Rob said...

I think they should manage the funds they have more efficiently first before coming up with new ways of taking more...If they were going to use that $ for a dedicated purpose -- Road repairs, beautification initiatives , something -- fine. But the administration that could only find 1 job to cut was left behind by numerous communities throughout NJ that cut 3,4,5 % of their work force. Clean house, clean up accounting and then go for more money. Good thinking..just ill timed with this administratioin

Anonymous said...

I think this is a poor suggestion. So guest to your house should worry about a $5.00 one day parking pass or a ticket when they visit your house? When you are having work done to your home or mowing your lawn you should worry about a one day parking permit? If the tenants could afford the permits, they would park in the complex lots. How about the city do something under the zoning ordinance to violate the landlords for charging an extra fee for parking, when approvals for the buildings are given with the condition of parking spaces. If you can afford to pay/spend more in these tough economic times, when so many are out of work, or working for less now due to lay-offs, etc. How about you and those that can afford it, just make donations? This is not Montclair or any other town, stop trying to burden people who don't have it with mor expenses.

Anonymous said...

There are building codes that require parking as part of the development. Force Connelly to provide the parking to his tenants at no charge. he can raise the rent to make up the difference. There should be no cars parked up and down the streets (7th) when the parking lots are empty. Wake up Plainfield!