RED BANK: SWEEPING CHANGES COMING

red bank spring street parkingRules would be modified for streets where parking is now prohibited on one side, such as Spring Street, to allow for alternate-side parking, officials said. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA pending alternate-side parking law for Red Bank won’t be enforced until the borough has an online streetsweeper-tracker up and running, an official said Wednesday night.

Still, the plan to mandate one-side-only parking throughout the town twice a week ran into objections.

At its only regular meeting for the month Wednesday night, the council tabled the proposed ordinance for a month. The delay was needed to tweak language so the law would exclude state and county roads, and to take into account streets where parking is now banned on one side so alternate-side can be put into effect.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit parking on one side of the street between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on specified days of the week, differing by street. For example, parking would be banned on the west side of Leighton Avenue on Mondays, and on the east side of that street on Thursdays. Here’s the full street-by-street schedule.

Judy Fraser, of Elm Place, said the law would cause hardships for residents without driveways, for the elderly and for visitors from out of town.

“Why are we doing this?” she asked. “I understand it’s for street-sweeping, but in 50 years of living here, we’ve never had our streets swept much at all. Now you’re talking about twice a week.”

The law will also cause disgruntlement among neighbors, she said, with resentment rising by those who move their vehicles against those who don’t, requiring the sweeper to go around those vehicles.

William Poku, who has been locked in legal battles with the town for years over matters that include vehicles parked outside his Bank Street residence, asked the council to create an exemption for his block because he cares for a disabled person at home.

Debbie Studd, a William Street homeowner who spoke following a closed-door executive session, also asked about the rationale for the change.

“I think it’s going to impact more people than you realize,” she said.

“The motivation behind it is that we need to ensure that streets are clear for both brush collection and street-sweeping,” said Business Administrator Ziad Shehady. “Right now, vehicles are parked on the streets randomly at all hours of the day, and it does now allow us the ability to street-sweep.”

Studd asked the council if it could instead make the sweeps monthly, because “weekly just seems crazy excessive.”

“We don’t think that’s enough to clean the streets to the level we think they should be cleaned,” Shehady replied.

After the meeting, Shehady told redbankgreen that at GPS-based system already being used by town officials to track the movements of the borough’s vehicle fleet will be modified for public use to isolate the town’s street-sweeper.

The online view, officials have said, would enable residents to time the movement of their cars in order to clear the lane being swept while avoiding parking tickets. Once a street has been swept, vehicles will immediately be allowed to resume parking there without being cited, Shehady said.

Here’s what Chicago’s sweeper tracker¬†looks like.

The law would not be enforced until the tracker is up and running and has been publicized, Shehady said.

The council is scheduled to meet next at a workshop session, where no votes are taken, on July 3. The next regular meeting is slated for July 24.