Posted on

Higher Meter Rates Solve Ridgewood’s Central Business District Parking Issues

file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, it looks like the Village Council has solved the parking problems in the Central Business District once and for all .  Since the new meter rates went into effect and the Ridgewood Police became more active in ticketing repeat parkers and employees taking up street parking , parking spots now abound .

Several recent trips to the Central Business District we have noticed plenty of parking even on Chestnut street a notoriously difficult street to park .

One reader suggests that perhaps some employees are parking father away searching for free parking or finally using the employee parking .

Employee parking has been a major point of contention  during all the attempts to solve the parking problems .

Continue reading Higher Meter Rates Solve Ridgewood’s Central Business District Parking Issues

Posted on

Reader Complains About Erroneous Tickets in Ridgewood

parking_ticket_Ridgewood_theridgewoodblog

Hi, I made that complaint and continue to send emails as there was no follow up regarding my issue.
Someone asked for details…. happy to provide….
On 3 sepeate incidents over the last 2 yrs my wife received a parking violation for either not having a sticker or parking in an employee lot without a sticker. In all cases the vehicles are registered to me and the tickets, (which are either mailed or placed on the windshield – with no consistency for either method) are issued to the vehicle owner requiring both parties to show up in court should you wish to fight the ticket. Those are the simple facts….
Here are the details as I see them:
Town requires all employees (including business owners) to purchase a monthly or yearly parking pass and you must affix the sticker in the driver side rear side window. Most windows are tinted making it difficult to see them.
Note Mayor and Council: You are providing a parking pass to the employee, not the car, so it should be a hang tag that follows the employee regardless of means of transportation. What if the car is in the shop, rental, borrowed a friend or family members car…. What… buy more stickers?
Then you must park in designated lots and use the park mobile app…. no coin option. So what happens when the app doesn’t work….ticket thats what….
What happens when the enforcement mule decides its raining or snowing and or too busy checking Facebook to bother getting out of the car to check for the sticker…. ticket thats what…. or his admin app doesn’t work or fails show the vehicle as paid even though it has. Again ticket….
Again, if the car is a rental, borrowed from a friend or registered to someone else its an issue because the driver isn’t issued the ticket the vehicle owner is. This now required both individuals to go to court to have it dismissed. (loss of wages and time)
Observation: Enforcement salary, benefits, fuel, insurance and enforcement vehicle cost how much a year?? Guessing has to be easily 100K or more. Then factor in admin staff, utilities, salaries and court time maybe all total 200 – 300K? Too fed up with this abuse to get actual numbers but I bet im close.
Calculate How many tickets are dismissed monthly against number written? After all he has to write so many a month based on borough statistics…. how else would they know if he is effectively doing his job…. But noooo its not a quota.. It’s a performance review.
Subtract how how many went to court and were guilty and paid…. you are left with a quantity of unknown violations of which a percentage were just paid regardless of guilty or not.
So what’s to stop him from writing erroneous tickets or being directed to? After all most individuals wouldn’t waste precious time for a 30.00 ticket…. You now have legal extortion if you ask me. Just like red light cameras which were banned and how hey wanted to issue speeding tickets using distance calcs between tolls based on easy pass. Faceless violations issued to the registered owners of a vehicle regardless if they were operating it or not.
With internet sales increasing every hour, downtown rents through the roof… merchants are barely surviving and without employees and shoppers those businesses will cease to survive.
So really what is the incentive for fee based parking…..
The Answer I received….. other towns do it…..
My response…. if I told you Billy jumped off the bridge you should too… would you think it’s a good idea just because someone else did it?
Seems an incentive for people to seek employment and people to shop in Ridgewood would be achieved by not charging for parking.
If you cannot fiscally manage the town with the taxes you accumulate you should look at your spend and if need be raise taxes to cover the losses for parking at it benefits the community by having a floursihing downtown area with employment opportunities.
I am ashamed of the town council and mayor in their dismissive attitude towards this issue which has now cost me approx 1K in lost wages dealing with this administrative nightmare.
I have offered to help solve the issue… so I am not complaining without offering to resolve it but again…. no response.
Now it comes to light that the Park Mobile solution, which was put in place due to officials stealing quarters, costs more in fees than the town earns…. We call this TCO (true cost of ownership and Return on Investment in the IT world where I have domain expertise.)
If this is true…… how do you all still have jobs…… If I screwed up this bad I would be terminated…..
This isn’t rocket science nor is it a Democrat – Republican conversation…. its common sense and logic….
Stop charging for parking…. sell the enforcement vehicle(s) layoff the parking officials which saves salary and benefits and I bet there isn’t much of a deficit after it all nets out if any at all… Who knows you may actually be positive…..
I may not have all the numbers correct because I don’t have the time or inclination to use the freedom of information act to request records which will cost the town money as well as myself for copies etc just to prove I am right …. ( a ducks a duck – it is as it appears)
What are we left with? A poorly managed system which easily lends itself to corruption and or costly mistakes.
Let’s level the playing field… for every erroneous ticket issued and found not guilty and or dismissed in court, there should be a $100.00 charge back to the town for lost time and wages per individual affected. Then see how many tickets get issued.

Posted on

Reader says Every employee who parks on the street is effectively taking two parking spots

Parking Walnut lot aside town garage employee spaces less than 33 perent used 330 pm weds feb 8 2017

Just a thought – Since employees need a permit card (displayed on the dash) to be able to park in the reserved spots in the lots, doesn’t the Village have the license plate of the cars that are supposed to park in the designated spots in the lots?
If they do, can they ticket the offenders?
If the Village does not have that information, should they both have it and use it?
Every employee who parks on the street is effectively taking two parking spots. The one with the vehicle, and one reserved (and thus unused) spot in a parking lot. That does not seem ethical or fair. Neither does it help the downtown parking crunch, indeed, it magnifies the problem.
The Village needs to check the lots to see how many employee spaces go unused, and then reduce the number of reserved spots. That would be simpler and less expensive than trying to enforce a system of no employee parking on the streets.
They might also enforce the “no repeat parking” rules on the street.

Posted on

Reader says if employees are parking in spots for the general public, then we should eliminate the majority of the designated employee spots

Parking Walnut lot aside town garage employee spaces less than 33 perent used 330 pm weds feb 8 2017

… employees are parking in spots for the general public, then we should eliminate the majority of the designated employee spots in the lot behind Bookends.
The main function served by those spots now is ticket writing, since it is almost impossible to find a parking spot in that lot, or on any nearby street on many occasions.
The designation of expensive valet parking will reduce parking spaces for the general public, which in turn will reduce business downtown or result in more “illegal” parking and increased fine revenue and revenue for the valet company.
How does any of that serve the public interest in Ridgewood ? I now spend less time and money in Ridgewood than I did a few years ago, and that trend will continue. Parking has become more difficult in my 20+ years in Ridgewood. Glen Rock, HoHoKus, Waldwick, Wyckoff and other local towns have managed to avoid this degree of parking problem.

Posted on

Ridgewood Town Garage employee parking retaining wall hazard

Ridgewood Town Garage employee parking retaining wall hazard

July 30,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Can it get anymore trashy for visitors to see the Rot in central business district? The pavement surface is all cracked and unkept as well.we need to shape up Ridgewood.

 

 

Posted on

11 am Ridgewood Central Business District employee parking at Cottage place wide open

CBD employee parking

January 19,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, reader commented “Its actually a one faceted approach–bury your head in the sand and pretend we dont need a garage.” No we don’t think the lack of a garage is the problem.

Central Business District Thursday, January 18th,  11 am employee parking cottage place wide open.

Posted on

Reader contradicts , No Councilman Hache did not say “free parking for Employees”

Parking_meters_theridgewoodblog

WHAT??? I was at that meeting and that is not what Councilman Hache said. He was supporting a reduction in the parking fee at Cottage Pl for 60 spots to be set aside for employee parking. It was just for those spots only. He suggested reducing the rate to 25 cents. It was a suggestion in order to get employees to use that lot instead of parking on the street, which will open up spots for customers. And yes, it could also help some of the employees who are minimum wage earners. The free parking was suggested by somebody else.

Editors Note: From what we have heard ,there are over 700(?) employees in the Central Business District so employee parking represents a major issue .Frankly we think employees should be parking at some kind of discounted rate , or free if they park in some distant out of the way spots. We also think meter rates should be lowered but meter times should be extended later into the evening say 9pm ,to give dinners a chance to participate and take some of burden off CBD shoppers .

 

Posted on

Ridgewood’s parking changes neglect certain employees

unnamed-9

file photo by Boyd Loving

Ridgewood’s parking changes neglect certain employees

JANUARY 9, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 2015, 9:55 AM
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

Parking changes neglect workers

To The Editor:

Once again, Ridgewood has missed the mark with the new parking changes.

An important element of downtown shopping has been neglected. Many of the employees of downtown businesses are part-time. The monthly, unlimited fee does not work for someone who may work only a couple of short shifts a week. This is not uncommon for many of the retail businesses in town.

How does an hourly worker park for six hours legally? They run out every three hours to move their car? The very same people that made use of the 12-hour lots on the periphery of downtown will be parking in premium spots since there is no incentive for them to park farther away. They still have to move their car and there is no savings afforded them by using the lots.

I see all sides of this having been a resident of Ridgewood for 30-plus years and a merchant for 26 years. Unless the intention of the village is to penalize and ticket the workers that staff our businesses, I’m going to call the changes another failure to meet the needs of downtown Ridgewood.

Valerie Groom

Ridgewood

http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-letters-to-the-editor/letter-to-the-editor-ridgewood-s-parking-changes-neglect-certain-employees-1.1189685