Resident alert: Register your cars; Parking permits to be issued to cut down on commuter parking
After months of planning and listening to ideas from neighboring municipalities, the North Bergen Parking Authority has begun the unenviable task of registering approximately 10,000 motor vehicles as part of the township's first-ever Residential Parking Permit Program. The program was initiated to cut down on the amount of vehicles that enter the township to park, then board commuter buses and vans and head to other sites such as Manhattan. The permits also should secure the rights of residents to park in permit-specific areas. The registration process is scheduled to take three months to complete. After the registration is completed, there will be a four-to-eight week grace period during which summonses will not be issued. But after that initial two-month time frame has elapsed, enforcement is slated to begin. The Residential Parking Permit Program will initially be utilized in several zones of the township where parking has been a problem for residents in the past. The primary zone is from 71st to 79th streets, between Bergenline Avenue and Boulevard East, as well as Woodcliff Avenue, from Palisades Avenue to Wall Street. Those are the areas most affected by commuters who drive their vehicles into the neighborhood, then park the cars to board public transportation to New York City. Other zones that will be included are the 50th and 51st Street areas and portions of Dell Avenue. "Preserving parking spaces and their guests has become an important quality-of-life issue in our community," North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco said. "We need everyone's cooperation to make this program a success. We're doing this because an overwhelming number of residents have demanded relief from severe parking problems." One such resident, Anthony Tarantino of 74th Street, was elated over the news. "There are times that I have to park four, five blocks away from my home," Tarantino said. "It's ridiculous. And you see people from Bergen County and Passaic County. Some even from Pennsylvania and they're parked on the street all day and night. I hope that this will force out-of-towners to look elsewhere. I've yelled at some and they turn a deaf ear. See how they feel if they get tickets all the time." The program is being advertised through direct mailings, newspaper ads, brochures and through outreach meetings with local groups at churches, schools, tenant and condominium organizations and other community groups. Registration table
Last week, Parking Authority Chairman Steve Monetti and Executive Director David Kronick set up a registration table in the lobby of 8200 Boulevard East to answer questions and hear complaints. During the session, 72 vehicles were registered. "The people are saying that they're looking forward to it," Kronick said. "People are anxious about the program and we're moving along. The need is clear. Other towns in North Hudson have it, so these commuters have been coming to North Bergen to park in droves. We're hoping to drive the droves out. Added Kronick, "We don't want to rush into it. We want to do it the right away, so we've taken our time. We hope to have it up and working fully by early next year." In the meantime, Kronick has scheduled more parking registration sites. On Wednesday, Kronick will be registering vehicles at Woodcliff Gardens, and on July 31, the Parking Authority will be at St. Joseph's Church on Broadway to register more vehicles. "We have to make it as convenient as possible for the public," Kronick said. "Then, we will establish hours in the office for registration as well."