Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Free Downtown Parking Proposed

Shoppers will have free parking in the Central Business District from Dec. 17 to Jan. 2 if the City Council approves a resolution at the Dec. 14 regular meeting.

The proposal was not without critics. Councilman Adrian Mapp spoke against the measure, saying he did not think it would make a difference. Citing "harsh times," he said he was suggesting that the city "not do this this year."

But Councilwoman Linda Carter said downtown merchants wanted it and she would support it.

"It helps in the push right before Christmas time," she said.

Without free parking, downtown shoppers risk a $38 fine if they park overtime, which Carter cited as a source of fear.

Councilman William Reid said he supported the resolution, because it could make a difference whether shoppers go downtown or to the Watchung Square Mall, where parking is free. Reid wished local shoppers a happy holiday and asked them to "make sure they pay their taxes in February early."

Councilman Elliott Simmons, a longtime downtown businessman, also favored giving shoppers a break and suggested that Mapp needs to spend more time downtown. Mapp countered by saying he and his family do shop downtown regularly.

Councilman Cory Storch drew a laugh by thanking all those who make a "generous $38 contribution" to the city.

The resolution will be up for approval on Monday, Dec. 14 at Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why we should bend to the will of the downtown merchants. Mapp is right. Times are tough. There's NO REASON why parking violators should be given a free ride. Let them go to one of the surrounding towns and try to park for free. What's so difficult about paying a quarter or fifty cents for parking? People do it everywhere else--why not in Plainfield. If a 25 or 50 cent parking meter is going to stop someone from shopping in Plainfield, consider how much they were actually going to spend anyway. Ridiculous. And these same merchants are going to complain about the rising taxes. You can't have it both ways. Let people pay to park and use the services. This is why these council people need to be replaced. They think small and don't use foresight. And meanwhile Burney is all on a tear about fliers dropped off at his home without his consent??? And who is going to enforce that? Are we going to have code enforcement for this idicoy?? That's the big controversy that he has decided to weigh in on? Pathetic.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get a downtown where people want to shop first, then worry about how many parking spots are going to be available.

Our economic development is miserable. How many people are we really talking about? How much money is generated by dowtown parking fees?

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 750 post... why listen to the merchants?? Because we are the ones who are helping to offset your property taxes. If we all close up shop, see what they go up to. Offering free parking for 2 or 3 weeks is a boom to the local economy. The meter loss is minimal. We have hard enough time getting people to shop here, let alone have to worry about a fine on top of it. One of the bigger issues to deal with is the lack of meters in some areas, and inefficient/ on the take meter maids that allow some people and merchants to park for free while ticketing others. How does she get away with this? Who is responsible for the parking authority?

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only free parkers are friends at City Hall who are to lazy to walk far to their cars at the Lattimore Annex - oh yeah and Police on fourth St

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They ticket the police on a regular basis. I am referring to merchants that also get the free parking while customers are ticketed. Merchants that should be smart enough to know that by parking in front of your business, you are in fact taking away business from a customer that cant park and goes elsewhere. But than again...this is Plainfield.

4:51 PM  

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