Here’s the latest twist in the tug-of-war for parking between Hudson Avenue residents and employees of the nearby Broad Street post office:
The Borough of Red Bank is removing the ‘resident parking’ signs it installed after an ordinance change earlier this year and re-installing the two-hour parking signs that they replaced.
Hudson Avenue, you see, is both a resident-parking street and a two-hour zone, says Public Utilities Director Gary Watson. So if you live there and have a permit, you may park as long as you wish, he says. For all others, it’s two hours and gone or you risk a ticket.
Which could further complicate a lawsuit pending in Freehold on behalf of Tai Truong, a postal worker who says he’s been repeatedly ticketed on Hudson not for overtime parking but for parking without a permit.
Truong’s lawyer, George ‘Bill’ McCarter, of McCarter & Higgins, contends that there’s nothing in the permit ordinance that prohibits non-permit-holders from parking on permit streets. He also contends the entire permit-parking ordinance is unconstitutional.
Watson says he’s changing the signs because of “confusion” about the rules on Hudson, and not planning to change the signs on other permit-parking streets East Bergen Place, South Street, Brown Place, part of Branch Avenue and Tower Hill Avenue unless a resident complains. At the moment, he says, only Hudson appears to engender confusion.
But McCarter tells redbankgreen via email that
Confusion has nothing to do with it. It’s just that non-residents don’t often park on the other streets, so he’s keeping the residents happy and not offending anyone.
We also asked borough attorney Tom Hall to comment. We’ll fold his response into this story as we get one.
Meantime, Hudson Avenue resident Lee Sanderson says it doesn’t make much difference what the signs say because there’s no enforcement of either parking rules or the speed limit. Both underlie the real concern of many homeowners, he says: the inability to safely get in and out of their driveways.
“If the borough would aggressively enforce the speed limit and the two hours, I think it would alleviate some of the issues we’re concerned about,” says Sanderson, who adds that he’s sympathetic to the plight of postal workers who have few parking options. “It’s not about us having private parking.”
Earlier this week, the borough council made it easier for residents on permit streets to obtain permits by eliminating the requirement that they prove they don’t have offstreet parking available. The requirement has apparently never been enforced.