NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — After changes to College Avenue have rendered the street all but closed to drivers looking for parking, the city’s parking authority has moved to add nearby metered spaces.
The New Brunswick Parking Authority let go of 48 metered spots on College Avenue this month to make room for bicycle lanes and ultimately transform the Rutgers University campus hub into a pedestrian-friendly area.
But within the next week, 49 nearby metered parking spaces in the area will be available to drivers, said the authority’s executive director, Mitchell Karon, during this evening’s Board of Commissioners meeting.
The authority has already installed 20 all-day metered spaces in Lot 26, behind the College Ave Gym.
Meters are enforced there from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Another 29 metered spaces should be open to the public in Lot 26, next to the store Scarlet Fever on Somerset Street, early next week, he said.
Meters will be enforced there from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and all day Saturday.
“The good thing about Lot 2 is, it’s right off Easton Avenue, and I think it’s going to be very attractive to the nighttime crowd and the weekend crowd,” Karon said.
The parking authority also plans to add 20 meters on Union Street, which runs next to College Avenue, behind The Yard, Karon noted.
Those parking spaces would be regulated by meters with “progressive rates,” he said. That means the longer someone stays, the more they’d be charged.
“It’s going to be more expensive than parking in a garage,” Karon said. “You pay a premium if you want to park on the streets.”
The parking authority operates eight parking decks in New Brunswick. Many stand across Albany Street in the city’s downtown area.
While Karon said the authority has no plans to build additional parking garages in 2017, it’s a “strong possibility” that a deck will be included in redevelopment plans for the Cultural Center near City Hall.
Metered parking is still available on College Avenue between Hamilton and Somerset streets. Another two spots remain on the opposite end, in front of the Rutgers Club.