RED BANK: PUBLIC INPUT ON PARKING SOUGHT

The public is invited to weigh in next month on a study now underway to assess parking needs in downtown Red Bank.

Details below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

The business promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter said Tuesday that it would host a “kick-off meeting” at the Red Bank Middle School at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 24 to gather public comments and suggestions.

Walker Consultants of New York City is conducting a study of downtown parking under a $52,350 contract with the borough issued in June. As previously reported, RiverCenter has agreed to pay $25,000 toward the cost of the study.

In Tuesday’s announcement, Councilman Erik Yngstrom, who chairs the local government’s parking committee, said the aim of the September 24 session is to obtain “input and information from those who work, live, dine, shop and visit our community.”

More from the announcement:

The parking study will quantify and assess Red Bank’s parking supply and demand, pinpoint parking issues for everyday activities and special events, and prioritize ways to improve parking operations and maintenance. The study will also look at parking policies such as enforcement and pricing strategies.

“RiverCenter will continue to be the primary advocate for short and long-term answers to parking and transportation in our vibrant downtown,” said James J. Scavone, Executive Director of Red Bank RiverCenter. “Previous parking studies are outdated and do not reflect the current economic and residential environment in Red Bank. Having the Borough Council move on this Number One issue for the business community is key. To have them include us in this effort early on is appreciated.”

The Red Bank Borough Council awarded a contract to Walker Consultants, New York City, to complete a thorough parking study which will include public input, data collection such as an inventory of existing assets and land, and analysis of current and future demand, identification of high-priority issues, and identification of short-term and long-term management and financing strategies and solutions.

“We are inviting public input as we work to quantify and define the parking issues in our business areas,” said Red Bank Borough Adminstrator Ziad Shehady. “A large part of this process is stakeholder and community engagement. We want to hear from residents, business owners, office workers, retail clerks, servers, and visitors about their parking experiences. They will help complete and obtain the data needed to make important parking policy decisions.”

“The Borough is receptive to all options addressing parking concerns,” added Shehady. “The goal is to implement solutions to meet parking demand and to ensure the economic success of Red Bank for years to come.”

Data collection for the study has begun. Community engagement is expected to begin in the fall of 2018. A timeline for the parking study is being developed and will be posted on the Red Bank Borough website atwww.redbanknj.org. For questions or additional information, contact the Office of the Red Bank Administrator at 732-530-2748.

In 2016 and 2017, the parking committee, then led by Republican Councilman Mike Whelan, advanced plans for possible wholesale redevelopment of the 273-space White Street parking lot, to include hundreds of additional new parking spots as well as housing and commercial uses. But Democrats opposed the effort as as an attempt to cram “a Jersey City-style high rise in[to] our historic downtown.”

After the Democrats recaptured majority control of the council, the redevelopment effort fizzled.

Yngstrom has previously said he expects the parking analysis to take four or five months.