By JOHN T. WARD
Under the idea, pitched by by the downtown promotion agency RiverCenter, shoppers who just want to grab a cup of coffee or run a quick errand might be likelier to find a spot on the street for that purpose, said Councilman Art Murphy.
Parking is already sold in 15-minute increments on the streets downtown, at a fee of 25 cents. That rate wouldn’t change, but shoppers would be subject to a $38 ticket if they exceeded the allotted time or fed the meter, Murphy said.
RiverCenter has offered to pay for signs indicating the change and to have the meters painted to stand out.
“It’s a great idea,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said at the council meeting last Wednesday, “but you’d better paint them a really bright color.”
The nine spots are all located near high-traffic, quick-turnover businesses, according to the RiverCenter proposal. Included is one in front of the planned Rook Coffee Roasters shop on White Street, where no table service will be available. RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone said the spot was included in the plan before Rook leased the space last week.
Merchants said they thought the idea was positive, but not enough. Canio Paradiso, owner of the Red Bank Sub Shop on Monmouth Street, said the town also needs to move the bus stop from in front of his and nearby stores to create more street parking.
Steve Catania, owner of the Cheese Cave, said he’d like to see Monmouth Street closed to vehicular traffic entirely between Broad Street and Drummond Place.
The nine spaces are as follows:
|Street||Closest Address||Closest Business||Description|
|Monmouth||12 Monmouth||Spice & Tea Exchange||First spot after NJ Transit bus stop on north side of street|
|Monmouth||70 Monmouth||New & Nearly New Shop||First spot after driveway into Teak on north side of street|
|Monmouth||23 Monmouth||The Wine Cellar||The only spot in that area on the south side of the street|
|White||12-14 White||Hair & Co.||First space after the no parking zone on the north side of the street|
|East Front||41 East Front||Family Eye Care||First space after hospital entrance on north side of street|
|Broad||42 Broad||Greene Street||First space after crosswalk on west side of street|
|Broad||90 Broad||Eye Design||First space after no parking zone on west side of street|
|Wallace||Corner of Wallace & Broad||Smith Barney||First parking spot on the north side of Wallace Street east of Broad Street|
|Wallace||Corner of Wallace & Broad||Rugs of Persia||First parking spot on the south side of Wallace Street east of Broad Street|