CRANFORD – At Monday’s Township Committee Workshop Meeting, a Cranford resident raised an important issue in regards to the town’s parking pay stations.

In town, parking is free on Federal Holidays, on Sundays, and Monday through Saturday after six p.m. The problem is, if you don’t know or forget, the pay station still accepts payment.

The Cranford resident brought to the meeting his pay stub from the pay station. The parking time he purchased was at 7:25 p.m., a time where parking is free. Also on the ticket, was a time that his parking expires (7:55 p.m.), which he feels is encouraging a person to pay for more free parking. The resident simply wanted to know why the pay stations are allowing this to happen.

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“You can’t sell something that is free,” said the resident. “I see people going to pay the meter on Sundays, and I tell them it’s free. So I was wondering, since it’s a smart meter, and not a dumb meter, can we program it like Elizabeth does? I spoke to the lady in charge of the parking authority, and she said that the meters there don’t accept money when it’s free.”

“We have a private contractor with the meters,” the resident added. “I’d like to take a look at that, because whoever has the codes to the meters, he’s the person who is responsible to say ‘hey, I can turn this meter off at six o’clock.’ It’s a private contractor, so if they’re getting a share of the money when it’s free, then (the board) needs to say you can’t do that. You can’t take money from our community members when something is free.”

The resident went on to raise another parking concern in regards to the spot numbers being listed on the ground. He mentioned that when it snows just an inch, the numbers are not visible, and because parking rules are still in effect, you can get a ticket without paying because you couldn’t identify the number. Also, by having to go into the street to dig out the number, it puts you in danger of the traffic on a snowy road.

After speaking on all of his concerns, the resident got up and jokingly said, “I got to go. I got to go put more money in the meter.”

Mayor Hannen told the resident before he left the room that his concerns will be handed over to the parking committee.