Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 33
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
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Free Parking or No Man’s Land? The Mystery of Six Unmetered Spots

Ellen Gilbert

With parking spaces in downtown Princeton at a premium, the question of responsibility for six unassigned, unmetered spots smack dab in the middle of the Princeton University campus is a poser.

The stretch of spaces occurs just after the intersection of Charlton Street and Shapiro Way. “This area was taken over by the Borough. They are in charge,” said a person at Princeton University’s Transportation and Parking Services office who asked not to be identified when questioned about responsibility for the spots. “As far as I’m concerned, we have absolutely no control. They are supposed to be in the process of installing meters. I don’t know how long and when they will finish this project.”

“That’s the property of the University,” responded Borough Superintendent of Parking Bill Moraski when the same question was put to him. Told that the University said that the area in question was Borough property, Mr. Moraski suggested calling Borough Engineering.

“The spaces definitely are on University property,” said Borough Engineer Christopher M. Budzinski. “That section of Charlton was sold to the University a long time ago.” He added that “We are in the process of securing a lease that would allow us to have the spaces metered, and that has not been secured. In the meantime, whatever the University guidelines are for parking would govern. As of right now, they are not Borough metered spaces. Our attorney and their legal counsel have talked. I think it’s being formulated as we speak. Then the lease has to be ratified by Borough Council.”

Offered this latest information, the University Parking representative said that they are “looking into it,” and “any unauthorized cars will receive a citation. We’re not encouraging anybody to feel like ‘okay, let’s go and park there.’ It is in the process of being decided right now.”

In the meantime, five or six cars, usually with Princeton IDs, typically park in this no-man’s land, apparently with no consequences. A handicapped-only sign does, however, appear to be keeping one end space in check.

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