January 22, 2020

Correcting Misunderstandings About Permit Parking Program

To the Editor:

We would like to correct some misunderstandings contained in Phyllis Teitelbaum’s letter [Mailbox, January 15] regarding the recommendations coming out of the Permit Parking task force to be presented at the January 27 Council meeting.

First, we want to explain the general outline of the recommendations coming from the task force, though the specifics are still being finalized. The recommendations are to initiate a pilot program in limited parts of town, specifically the tree streets and the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were chosen because we most often hear complaints from the residents of these neighborhoods — the current parking policy in these neighborhoods does not serve the residents well and we want to correct that. All of the policies being proposed are intended to prioritize needs of the residents above other users of on-street parking. Resident permits are intended to be good 24 hours/day. The cost of resident permits will be based on simply covering administrative costs of the program and will not be revenue-generating. A few employee permits will likely be issued on a street-by-street basis, but with the intention to maintain plenty of open spaces for residents and their guests. This is completely in line with the recommendations contained in the Nelson-Nygaard report of 2017. The cost of employee permits will be revenue generating for the municipality, and generally based on market rates for similar privately available parking. Policies will be designed to shift business customer parking to metered spaces, with some added meters in locations with a current shortage. Lastly, the pilot program is intended to improve enforcement of parking regulations in these areas.

We also want to explain what is not a part of the pilot. No recommendations have been formulated for the high school area at this time. In preliminary discussions, however, we have discussed further limiting areas where students are allowed to park. We are also committed to fully researching and taking advantage of underutilized metered parking spaces and shared arrangements with private parking lots, and that process is underway.

We encourage all interested residents to attend the Council meeting on January 27, when the full details of the pilot program will be presented for Council’s consideration and public comment.

Leticia Fraga
David E. Cohen
Princeton Council Members