November 1, 2013 at 5:00 AM
CHATHAM, NJ - Decals for homeowners and more time to shop downtown were among the remedies suggested for problems related to timed parking at the recent meeting of the Chatham Borough Council.
For residents who have time limits, such as three hours, on their street for parking, the proposal is to offer two decals per household, which would make them exempt from time limits in front of their homes. The decals would be offered at the price it would take to print them.
In addition, caregivers or healthcare providers could get a decal that would make them exempt from time limits for a period of six months.
"We're hitting a nine-iron here, not a driver," said Jim Collander, chairman of the public safety and emergency services committee. "We're looking for feedback and suggestions from residents."
Other changes to time-limit parking would extend the time people can park downtown from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. Those streets would include: South Passaic Avenue, North Passaic Avenue, Firehouse Plaza, Fairmount Avenue from Main Street to Red Road, and from Center Street to Center Place.
"Some have said they'd rather not shop downtown because they feel rushed to finish their errands in one hour," Collander said. "This should help businesses by allowing shoppers more time."
Other changes suggested by Collander's committee would change the parking limit from two to three hours on Bowers Lane, Post Office Plaza, Center Street, East and West.
"We're interested in tackling this problem, not as the end-all, be-all," Collander said. "People think of parking primarily associated with the train station, but you have to look further than that. We know we have five major schools in town, 9,000 people, two major roadways all crammed into 2.4 square miles. So we have to be courteous and live by rules that make sense to everybody. And one is time-limit parking."