TWO HOURS, AND THIS TIME THEY MEAN IT

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The signs announcing a two-hour parking limit along Maple Avenue have been there so long that they’re faded.

But it seems nobody in borough hall can explain why there was no ordinance putting legal teeth behind the signs. Apparently, there was a widespread belief that such a law existed.

Nor can officials say if anyone was ever wrongly cited for overtime parking, and if not, why not, considering the above assumption.

“By some quirk, they were never legally adopted,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said of the signs at the March 26 borough council meeting. He said he didn’t know when the signs went up, but that they predated his tenure on the council, which began 18 years ago.

Well, whatever the explanation, the free ride on standing still, so to speak, is about to end.

This week, Parking Authority enforcement personnel have been leaving warning notices on windshields of cars parked between Monmouth Street and Bergen Place telling drivers that they’ll be ticketed beginning Monday, April 23 if they exceed the two-hour limit.

That’s because there’s a new ordinance that absolutely, positively does what a presumed ordinance from long ago did not.

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The lack of an ordinance came to light when local merchants and residents asked Menna why cars weren’t being ticketed for hogging spaces for hour after hour.

The street is especially popular among Red Bank Catholic students.

Police Chief Mark Fitzpatrick looked into the matter and couldn’t find an ordinance that would allow the ticketing, he told us.

No word yet if violations will incur $38 tickets, as with parking meter violations. But Menna says there are no plans to install meters because there are some residences along Maple and the borough has an informal policy of not putting meters in front of homes.

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