A frame from an amateur video shot during the exotic car show captured at least one vehicle parked facing in the wrong direction on Wallace Street. (Click to enlarge)[This article was updated with additional information at 5 p.m. Monday, September 20]
By JOHN T. WARD
The free exotic car show that drew hundreds of visitors to downtown Red Bank earlier this month may end up costing seven motorists $38 each.
Their vehicles were ticketed for parking faced in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
What led their drivers to think they could do so? A case of follow-the-leader for some, perhaps.
Among those who got tickets was Dominique Lallemand of Holmdel.
“I saw the other cars parked that way, and thought it must be OK because of the street fair,” she tells redbankgreen, who tracked her down from ticket information at the borough court. “I figured it must be OK.”
Though videos of the event show some of the display cars being driven the wrong way on one-way Mechanic Street which was effectively closed by the shutdown of Broad during arrival and departure, there was no official sanction allowing cars to violate parking or other rules, police say.
“Traffic was never redirected,” Captain Darren McConnell, the department spokesman. “People took it upon themselves to come the wrong way down Wallace.”
McConnell said there were no barricades erected to stop cars from heading west on Wallace because it’s a one-way eastbound, with signage to that effect.
He added that no tickets were issued during the show because, with Wallace effectively closed off, the vehicles posed no hazard. But once Broad Street was reopened, around 7 p.m., those that remained presented a danger to cars traveling east from Broad.
But 22-year-old Matt DiBenedetto of Belford said he didn’t arrive on Wallace Street until 7:30 p.m. or so, after the car show was over. He turned in off Broad enroute to dinner at Gaetano’s, and seeing every car on the block facing the opposite way, made a U-turn to do the same.
“My girlfriend said, ‘You’re going to get a ticket.’ But I said, ‘Everybody’s parking this way. This must be what they want,” he told redbankgreen. “I said, ‘What are they going to do, give everybody a ticket?’
He said he was angry about the ticket, but won’t fight it. “I don’t want to pay it, but for what it’ll cost me in aggravation, it’s not worth it,” he said.
The only complaint the police department had heard as of Monday afternoon was from a merchant who said that not enough tickets were issued, McConnell said.
Lallemand won’t challenge the ticket either, she said.