April 12, 2017

Town Wants Public Input for Parking Study; Workshop April 19

Princeton has hired a consultant to undertake a parking study, and input from the public is a key component of the project. On Wednesday, April 19, members of the community are invited to attend a workshop and share views about how to solve the downtown area’s ongoing parking issues.

The focus includes making parking more available, and deciding how much to charge and in which locations. Residents can take an online survey, attend public events, or send written comments about changes they would like to see implemented.

“I encourage everyone in the community to participate in the process and make their concerns and ideas known,” said Mayor Liz Lempert in a press release. “Changes to Princeton’s downtown parking will be most successful with support and input from all those who are impacted.”

Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates Inc., a Boston-based transportation planning firm, is in charge of the study. The idea is to find new solutions “with the goal of maintaining the economic diversity, vibrancy, quality of life, and character of the town,” reads the release. The study area outlined on the town’s website runs north to south from Birch Avenue to the bottom of University Place, and west to east from Library Place to Linden Lane, with downtown neighborhoods in between.

The main focus is “the availability of parking and the duration of parking,” said Municipal Land Use Engineer Jack West. “There are a number of ways of looking at that. You can do it by rate, by time allowed at each meter. And you have to figure out how to deal not just with customers who come to town, but to employees who work in town and need to park.”

The consulting firm intends to analyze the town’s parking demands as they currently exist before coming up with recommendations about parking management, time limits, permits, technology, pricing, and enforcement. Also targeted are future parking needs, parking for commuter rail users, parking impacts on residential neighborhoods near the downtown business district; and bicycling, walking, and wayfinding opportunities.

Residents, workers, business owners, and other members of the public are encouraged to participate. The public can attend the upcoming workshop, which will be held at Monument Hall, 1 Monument Drive, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on April 19. Additional public open house events are tentatively scheduled for June and September. Other participation opportunities include taking an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/PrincetonParking, or providing written comments to engineering@princetonnj.gov.