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RED BANK: YOUR 15 MINUTES HAVE ARRIVED

rb-white-meter-112415-500x375-2398448One of the new 15-minute meters on Broad Street, near White Street(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

park_it_2014-220x127-1098632Street meters, off-street meters, permits, kiosks, an app: now, add one more element to the Red Bank parking mix.

The borough recently installed nine white meters on downtown streets to enable shoppers to park for just 15 minutes, at 25 cents a pop.

Though borough officials cited a dwindling supply of replacement parts for coin-operated meters as one reason for a switch to credit-card friendly kiosks several years ago, the “new” white meters are actually old ones, repurposed and painted over, Red Bank RiverCenter director James Scavone told redbankgreen in an email.

“Initially, there was some confusion over getting new ‘insides’ for the meters, but we worked with the parking authority and the meter company, and they were able to get us what we needed,” he wrote. “RiverCenter purchased the new ‘insides,’ which made the meters programmable for 15-minute maximum.”

RiverCenter also paid to have the old shells repainted, he said.

Councilwoman Cindy Burnham announced the installation of the meters at a meeting of the borough council Monday night. Councilman Ed Zipprich said the meters were the result of “a study done five years ago.”

None of the meters, however, were installed west of Maple Avenue, where merchants were outraged earlier this year by an expansion of the paid-parking zone, complaining that it was foisted upon them without notice. They have also said that, even though some spots were later designated for 15-minute parking, their customers must still use centralized kiosks that are inconvenient for quick-stop shopping and errands.

Scavone said RiverCenter recommended the siting of the white meters in September, 2014, before paid parking west of Maple was implemented, “so we obviously didn’t include that area in our initial request.” Later, when 15-minute spots were considered after merchant complaints, RiverCenter suggested using meters at those locations, but “we were not in on the final decisions regarding paid parking in those areas,” he said.

In response to questions about the issues, Burnham told redbankgreen that she cast the only “no” vote on the paid-parking expansion, and was not involved in discussions about 15-minute meters. “I was on the Parking Comm with Murphy & Dupont and every time I asked Murphy when the Parking Comm meets, he said they don’t have to meet,” she said in an email.

Here’s Scavone’s list of the locations. He adds, via email: “Just an FYI, my ‘description’ of each spot was my attempt to make it as clear as possible as to which spot we were talking about and it doesn’t necessarily list the business that we considered having ‘high turnover’ in that area.”

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
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