January 5, 2022

Offering Some Thoughts on Residential Street Parking

To the Editor:

Regarding residential street parking, we are recommending no business employee permits, one permit per house without a driveway, and no second car permit. The cost of a permit for houses without a driveway should relate to property tax paid on houses with a driveway.

Business parking on the Tree Streets: Businesses need employees and customers to thrive. A parking spot can be used by one all-day employee, or say six short-term customers. A parking spot used by one employee means six customers driving away, annoyed — or 42 a week or perhaps 160 per month. The multi effect is staggering. Shoppers give up, change their habits, and don’t return. Businesses fail.

Twenty years ago I ran a business in Lambertville. Employees were allowed to “feed the parking meter,” i.e., an “all-day permit.” It was a disaster.

Residential Parking on the Tree Streets: Selling all-day employee parking space eliminates perhaps eight short-term customers per day. It also eliminates the ebb and flow of residential parking which allows for services, vital caregivers, deliveries, and family and friends, as you would expect in a residential neighborhood. Depriving residents and customers of parking on the residential streets in favor of all-day business employees is a poor choice.

Residents without a driveway: They need parking. Offering free permits is questionable however. No permits should be free. Driveways are costly in terms of property taxes. On-street permits should relate to that cost — $.66 a day does not relate.

Second car permit: These would delete too many spaces, removing the ebb and flow which offers everyone a chance to park.

Half the remaining spaces for employees: After providing permits for no driveway and all the permits for a second car, what do you have left? How many second-car permits will be allowed? In number of spaces left, in reality how many would that be? Is this really sensible?

Stephen Polen and Deloris Verchere
Chestnut Street