BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Will the creation of “30 new parking spaces” correct the issues involving student parking in the streets surrounding Governor Livingston High School? Complaints received by Township Administrator John Bussiculo say the Sussex Road parking issue remains.
The school responded to the Township’s request to address the daily problem of student parking by adding 30 new parking spots. While this may not be a permanent fix, it was a start to addressing the growing number of student drivers that have been parking on the neighboring streets.
The district architect, Frank Messineo presented three additional concepts that would require capital budgeting during an October Board of Education meeting.
It was confirmed during Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting that the 30 new parking spaces have been created with student assignments forthcoming.
Further action was taken at Tuesday's Township Council meeting when Councilman Tom Pirone asked the council for a vote to address changing the current parking ordinance that restricts parking in the area of Governor Livingston High School to include Sussex Road.
The council voted 4 to 2 opposed to this change. Pirone and Councilman Ed Delia voted in favor of this change.
The ordinance that restricts parking on the streets surrounding the high school is in place due to police department concerns for emergency vehicle access to the school.
Pirone is looking to find a quick solution for the residents. “I don’t like the idea of let’s wait longer to see if the problem manifests itself,” said Pirone. “What’s the downside to adding signs?”
Councilman Ed Delia agreed with Pirone, “it is a simple solution to a simple problem.”
Council President Jeanne Kingsley stated that she is not comfortable overriding the police and the recommendations of traffic professionals to change a law.
“I think we have been thorough in our investigation and asked the police and traffic professional for their recommendations," said Councilman Kevin Hall, stating that time should be allowed to see if the Board of Education’s change in policy has alleviated the neighborhood parking problem. “We would have to defend why we are not following the professional’s advise,” said Hall.
Hall further recommended that the Police Department provide evidence “that the situation is as it was before – or improved.”
“We did not say we aren’t going to do anything,” said Councilman Craig Pastore. “We all have to look at it a little bit closer.”
Mayor Bob Woodruff concluded that in light of the continuing level of complaints, he would like a time limit placed on when action will take place.
Chief John DiPasquale has been in touch with the district and will monitor the parking on Sussex Road to see if the assignment of 30 additional parking spaces at Gov. Livingston High School will improve the neighborhood situation .