February 19, 2020

Tree Street Resident Questions Task Force Focus on Neighborhood

To the Editor:

Last April, Princeton Council focused on recommendations made by the Princeton Merchants Association (PMA) for revisions to the parking system in place at downtown meters and kiosks. A month later, in May, Council established the Permit Parking Task Force focusing on two residential neighborhoods.

One, the Tree Streets, has no walk-in business places. It consists of more than 200 houses, many of which are multi-family and home to almost 1,000 people. On seven streets, they are between Nassau Street and Hamilton Avenue with one, Spruce Street, parallel, that runs from Moore to Quarry Park, a dead end. Council maps color this high density area as part of the downtown business district.

Except for 10 restaurants on one block on Nassau between Chestnut and Pine streets, there are no other businesses that need parking spaces in that area. In fact, there are plenty of spaces for employees and visitors to park on Spruce where only overnight requires a permit. This street is nearly empty on weekends and holidays.

What motivates Council is to increase parking revenue using permits and meters on all the Tree Streets without counting all the public and private parking spaces. There are three times as many private as public parking spaces, all of which property owners pay for in real estate tax on their land, a tax that increased recently. Residents need to know why their community was chosen for expansion of parking regulation when the problem obviously is the enforcement of the existing rules.

Louis Slee
Spruce Street