RANDOLPH, NJ- Throughout this year, I’ve received a number of phone calls and emails from Randolph residents asking for help with resolving various situations prompted by parking on certain Township streets.  Given the frequency of these inquiries and a sense that many in our community are unfamiliar with what is permitted and what isn’t, I’d like to devote this month’s article to sharing some details with you.

I’ll start with noting that the municipal “laws” which govern many aspects of Township life are called ordinances.  When you access our website at www.randolphnj.org and navigate to the very bottom of the page, you’ll see a link labeled Township Code.  Clicking on this link redirects you to an external site which offers the user a comprehensive ability to search the entire body of Randolph’s Revised Ordinances, using whichever key words they’d like run through the database.

If you type in the search term “Chapter 31”, the site provides you access to that portion of our Code which concerns Traffic and Vehicles.  That Chapter is, in turn, divided into 24 separate Articles that touch upon various “do's and don’ts,” which Township Councils have historically legislated over the years.

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Many of these Articles deal with a specific area of the Township that requires particular rules in order to address concerns from residents.  For example, Article IV includes ordinances which prohibit parking altogether on certain municipal roads.  We see this on streets which are very narrow, where parked cars would prevent emergency vehicles from gaining access or maneuvering.

Other times the prohibition may stem from parks or recreation areas nearby, which cause spectators during an event to park on those roads and create an undesirable amount of activity and noise for local residents.

However, the ordinance about which I’m most frequently contacted is section 31-91, titled Parking between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.  It reads that “[e]xcept as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no person shall park any vehicle on the streets of the township between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. daily, except as posted.”  For those interested, subsection (b) concerns four apartment complexes here in the Township which have street parking rules that are particular to each.

More often than not, residents who contact me regarding this ordinance advise that they’ve recently had an event at their home where guests have decided to stay overnight, rather than get behind the wheel and potentially put either themselves or other drivers in harm’s way.  Without doubt, this is certainly the right thing to do in every such situation.  Please know that if you find yourselves with folks who need to leave their cars overnight on a municipal road, our Police Department asks that you simply give them a call at (973) 989-7000 and let them know.

These ordinances, as with all others, are in place to assure that we maintain a peaceful and pleasant day-to-day experience for our residents, guests and corporate citizens.  Most of them are likely in place for reasons of safety, or because folks in town have identified an issue which required legislative resolution.

Ultimately, however, situations arise where running afoul of an ordinance is caused by not being familiar with these guidelines that preserve the wonderful lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to here in Randolph.  I encourage you to spend some time on the above-mentioned website to learn more about some of these ordinances.

But most importantly, please reach-out to me if you feel that the Township Council should consider amending any of them.  As always, you can get a hold of me at either (908) 625-3714 or rhirniak@randolphnj.org.  I look forward to hearing from you.