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The Nelsen- Nygaard report strongly favored regularizing the complicated and unequal rules for permit parking throughout Princeton in neighborhoods where this type of control is needed. They advocated for both daytime and overnight parking to be permitted, consistent fees to be charged for permits, and recommended enforcement using license plate recognition technology. They also recommended employee parking on residential streets with some benefit accruing to the residents from the permit fees. In order to bring the latest proposal more in line with Nelson/Nygard recommendations, selling employee permits will benefit the residents of the streets where employees are welcomed by subsidizing free resident permits in those neighborhoods.
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The new permit parking proposal, which applies only in the Witherspoon-Jackson and Tree Streets neighborhoods, offers one free permit for each residence lacking a driveway. In addition, free parking for up to three hours will be permitted for everyone. Second permits to park on the street for longer periods of time, and permits for residences with a single-space driveway will cost $20/month. With the increasing risk of dire effects of climate change, we are trying to strike a balance between easing residents’ parking stress and not actually encouraging more car ownership and carbon emissions by providing overly generous permit availability.
Yes, the initial thought is that homeowners eligible for the state homestead rebate be eligible for half-price on-street permits.
It is a misperception that the proposed program creates a new policy to subsidize employee parking. Under our current parking regulations, approximately 185 free all-day spaces are provided on our streets, concentrated in two neighborhoods and utilized almost entirely by employees (mostly in the Tree Streets as well as Witherspoon-Jackson). This is truly subsidized employee parking. The proposed new plan, which is entirely self-funding, puts the onus on employers to fund the employee parking which is currently provided for free. The permit parking proposal does not create, but rather removes existing parking subsidies.
No parking is being proposed in any area which does not already have parking. Cars will need to be relocated to municipal lots during snow events, as is currently the case. Trash collection currently coexists relatively well with parking in many neighborhoods. We are exploring asking residents to place leaf and brush out for collection on the opposite side of the street from parking to resolve current problems with collection, separate from any changes to the permit parking system.
The current PPTF recommendations propose changes only to a few streets which currently do not have a permit system (portions of Murray Place, Patton Ave., Aiken Ave., Princeton Ave., and Prospect Ave.). The goal here is to redistribute some employee parking to streets where the residents have not objected, in order to reduce the burden on their neighbors across Nassau.
According to numerous studies, cars parked along a roadway actually provide a calming effect on traffic, and reduce the speed of car travel and the number and severity of crashes.
Residents can pay online with a credit card. They can also pay in-person at 400 Witherspoon Street with personal credit card, cash, or check. Prepaid cards purchased at grocery stores, pharmacies and the like can also be used.
The PPTF has explored these options. However, due to the high cost of building structured parking, the fees for garages are expensive, more like $10/day instead of $30/month. For retail and restaurant workers, these fees are cost-prohibitive. Plus, the parking garage availability is limited (see pre- Covid levels), and best serves the businesses by offering patron parking.
There are a few private lots available. Most already have made agreements with businesses to offer employee parking. Council has entered into a new agreement with Rider University to make almost 200 spaces available at the Westminster Choir College campus for employee permits. Churches do have parking lots that are largely vacant on weekdays, but they need to reserve the ability for members to park on short notice for events such as funerals and memorial services.
Town officials are in ongoing conversations to find other shared lot agreements with private owners and will continue to pursue more options for employee, customer and residential parking.
It is true that many of these all-day metered spaces are underutilized. The task force recommends that employee permits be honored at these meters as part of an overall strategy. About 180 employee parking permits will be granted in these spaces and this will go a long way toward meeting the need for employee parking in the CBD.
$30/month, which aligns with the current cost for employee permits in municipal surface lots. Employers will purchase permits on behalf of their employees.
University and other institution staff and faculty will not be permitted to purchase employee parking permits. The University is trying to radically reduce their carbon footprint partly through an aggressive system of transportation management for students, employees and staff. Granting permits to members of the University community would undermine these efforts, as well as burdening our residential streets with excess parking.
Undergraduates are not permitted to have a car on campus. The proposed permit system continues to prevent them from parking on local streets as an alternative -- particularly through the posted, 3-hour parking limit on the most accessible, residential streets. Graduate students might be eligible to purchase residential permits depending on their housing circumstances.
At this time, only residences with limited driveways which hold no more than a single car are eligible to purchase on-street permits for $20 per month. Short-term 24-hour guest permits are available to all households up to 30 days per year.
Apartment buildings provide their own off-street parking, so no residents will be eligible for permits.
$5 for a 24-hour guest permit, $10 for 3-days, and $20 for 7-days.
There is currently no limit proposed on the number of overnight guest permits available per night to individual homeowners, but there will be a limit of 30 permits per address per year. All guest permits are available to purchase online anytime, or in-person at 400 Witherspoon St. during regular business hours.
To give more time for guests to visit residents and customers to shop/dine. This time limit also coincides with parking meters throughout town.
Evening parking is free after 9:00 pm and before 2:00 am. The overnight parking restriction for those without permits continues to be enforced between 2:00 am and 6:00 am, as is currently the case.
Yes, and eligibility will be limited to the number of permits per residence based on driveway configuration, or lack of a driveway.
Unknown at this time, but any residential development requires off street parking and would be part of their plan.
On a case-by-case basis, residents will be able to purchase an employee permit for in-home workers similar to business owners purchasing employee permits for their workers.
Council cannot legally constrain future Councils from taking up matters for consideration. That being said, the current Council does not have any plans to move forward with changes to the parking regulations in these two neighborhoods.
The proposed system is really quite simple and boils down to the following three points: 1) allow 24-hour parking for residents who need it; 2) allow flexible short-term parking for all guests of residents and customers of nearby businesses; 3) allow low-density employee parking only on streets with lower parking demand; 4) automate short term overnight parking permits for the convenience of residents and their guests without diverting police resources from more important public safety responsibilities.
The details of how this is achieved seem complicated in part because the existing system is so convoluted, with many different rules in force varying on a street-by-street basis. As we flesh out the proposed changes, they seem arcane and complex (as can be seen in the side-by-side comparison of existing to new, where one can see multiple sets of rules within each neighborhood being converted to a single set of rules). The proposed system will be much more clear, consistent, and equitable.
Elimination of LPR technology will make enforcement significantly less efficient and will require the addition of new enforcement staff to adequately patrol the expanded permit zones. The permit parking system is designed to be self-funding through employee permit fees, and these have been increased from the prior proposal, partly in order to compensate for the increased costs resulting from eliminating LPR tech.
Contractors with clearly identified commercial vehicles will be exempt from parking time limits when working for a resident.
It is impossible to generalize because of the widely varying regulations on different streets, and the widely varying demand based on distance from local businesses. Some streets with all-day free parking are heavily parked up, while others have very low occupancy rates. Some streets with 2-hour parking limits are also heavily parked up, while others have very low occupancy rates.
Throughout the Central Business District, Nassau North, and the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, the number of employees working at any given time and currently not provided parking by their employers, based on our survey of first floor local businesses, is approximately 1,030. Under the current proposal, we will not be able to provide parking for all these employees. The total number of employee spaces available under the current plan is approximately 550, with 105 being on streets and the remainder in lots and at underutilized parking meters
Several approaches have been suggested to allocate permits if the demand exceeds the available space, including issuing permits on a first-come, first-served basis, creating a lottery system, or limiting the number of permits granted to each business, either on an absolute basis or as a fraction of total number of employees. The solution could also be a hybrid of these various approaches. We welcome community input on which approach would be optimal. While our survey indicates there is much more unmet need than available space, we know that this unmet need also far exceeds the current supply of on-street parking. We do not know where many of these workers currently park; many may bike or walk to work. The bottom line is that some employers will continue to leave parking solutions in the hands of their employees, and we don’t know whether actual permit requests will exceed permit availability.
The current plan is to issue permits for 50% of available on- street spaces after subtracting the number of eligible residential permits on each block, leaving 50% of spaces available for visitors and contractors working in the neighborhood. Streets hosting employee parking are far enough from local businesses so that they do not experience customer parking demand.
Permits will be available on-line or from our municipal clerk’s office. Permits issued online will be documented by printing a receipt from Passport’s website and placing it on the dashboard of the car.
Similar to the current system, daytime parking will be enforced by local parking enforcement officers, while overnight parking will be enforced by Princeton police officers.