PLAINFIELD, NJ — Director of Economic Development Valerie Jackson presented parking administration and management recommendations at Monday's City Council meeting. Plainfield's parking system, according to the presentation, would be consolidated into a "centralized, single-responsibility center." Additionally, a traffic and parking committee would be created to address comments, concerns and challenges with public parking in town.
Currently, Jackson said, parking is spread across several divisions: the Police Department is responsible for enforcement through the Parking Bureau Division, Public Works maintains the lots, and the Finance Department accounts for the revenue collected from parking.
Strategies would include the creation of shared parking and loading zones, maximizing existing on-street parking, providing parking information, including signage and maps, the reduction or elimination of parking minimums, and more.
Director Jackson provided a chart reviewing parking fees in Plainfield, comparing them to surrounding towns including Cranford, Elizabeth, Metuchen, Rahway and Westfield. The Queen City's on-street hourly rates were among the lowest, at $0.50/hour, and daily permit rates were far below other towns, at $2.00. Other towns charge from $5 up to $12 per day. Annual rates are also the lowest among the towns that were analyzed.
The committee will include City Clerk and Acting Business Administrator Abubakar Jalloh, Police Director Lisa Burgess, Director of Public Works Oren Dabney, Chief Financial Officer Ricky Gartz, Marilyn Nieves, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, and Finance Director Ron West.
Members of the committee will be charged with ensuring parking revenue covers expenses that include additional staff, equipment, signage, and parking facility improvements, and more. Plans and recommendations are expected to be implemented by the end of this year.
MC 2020-14, an ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan for the scattered city-owned parking lots and adjacent lots redevelopment area, passed 5-2, with Councilors Sean McKenna and Ashley Davis voting no.
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