By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank is about to get more parking kiosks, under action by the borough council Wednesday night. But it’s also looking into mobile apps that could make them unnecessary.
The council authorized spending $135,308 for 13 new kiosks, to be installed along Monmouth Street from Maple Avenue west to Bridge Avenue, and along a stretch of Bridge.
At the same time, officials said they would look into the possibility of integrating one or two apps with the system: one that would allow an arriving motorist to find an open parking spot, and another to pay for it from the comfort of the car.
As of this writing, redbankgreen was trying without success to identify the ordinance the authorized paid parking in the two affected areas, neither of which currently has meters.
But the wiring infrastructure for the Monmouth Street kiosks has already been installed, as part of a street rebuilding completed in 2012.
Seven kiosks would be installed on Monmouth, and six on Bridge, according to Administrator Stanley Sickels. The Bridge Avenue devices would be solar-powered, with built-in batteries supplying juice when the sun’s not out, he said.
All are being bought the through the Cranford Police Cooperative Pricing System, a municipal buying group the borough entered in 2011, Sickels said.
Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham opposed the purchase, saying the western portion of Monmouth Street “is struggling hard enough,” and that charging for parking “is going to kill retail there.”
But Mayor Pasquale Menna said many of the stores in that area have their own customer parking, and Councilman Mike DuPont said some merchants have asked for metering “so that people don’t just sit there” in spots out front.
The discussion also touched on a couple of apps that had been suggested by a merchant at a recent meeting of town officials and business owners, said Councilman Art Murphy. One would enable a motorist who had registered through the app to pay for parking upon pulling into a space and keying the spot number into the app on a cellphone or other mobile device.
The other, which Sickels said is far more expensive, would enable visitors to locate an available space. Sickels said both apps can integrate with the kiosk software.