ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The Roselle Park Council tabled a resolution to terminate a contract providing commuter parking at a lot next to the New Jersey Transit train station following a lengthy discussion at Thursday’s night's Council meeting.

Residents say for years they have parked at the Ryan Property lot located in the area along West Lincoln Avenue next to the New Jersey Transit train station between Chestnut Street and Locust Street. The rest of the space is owned by NJ Transit.

The Ryan Property lot is the only lot with available reserved parking spaces for commuters and without it, commuting to New York City would be more difficult than it already is. The borough has leased the space since late 2018 and has spent $5,000 so far.

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Residents pay $465 for reserved parking in the lot, or $39 monthly or $1.80 a day. Without this lot available, many residents who commute into the city by train would no longer have parking.

Marianna Brenner, a 20-year resident, said she was unaware that the lot was leased from a private company. She proposed her own idea: that the township advertises for available properties for residents to park. She said it’s better than driving around and parking in front of people’s houses and on side streets.

“I think there should be perhaps a first come, first serve policy at the reserved lot or have more advertisements for public parking available in the surrounding area near the train station,” said Brenner. 

The commuter lot issue led to a discussion by Councilman Joe DeIorio about other relevant issues about permits. Residents sometimes are unable to get to the station to purchase a permit so one suggestion was to make the permits available online so people can download the forms.

Mayor Joseph Signorello III said poor planning equals poor results. “I’m all for possible solutions,” he commented. 

Councilman Rob Mathieu, who said he first raised concerns for residents about the lease termination back in December, said the reserved parking lot should remain open to the public, especially in cases of severe snow since the reserved lot is closed on snow days and side street is not optional either.

Mathieu made references towards teacher’s specifically from Roselle Park because if there are bad snow days, they shouldn’t have to wait for the lot to be open and they, like other residents, pay to have those parking spots. Other means of parking space availability should be a priority to help residents.

“When residents are notified for snow days, I don’t see an issue if we were to propose for more public space in surrounding areas near the train station for residents to use as long as we make timelines for how long they can be there,” said Mathieu. “Of course, I know there are many variables we’d have to look at-insurance, plowing etcetera. I feel this is some help to residents who pay for parking permits.”

Councilman DeIorio also suggested posting on the Roselle Park website information that would show what public areas are closed for parking during snow days, including the reserved parking lot.

After the discussion, Mayor Signorello motioned for this issue to be discussed at the April 4 meeting

In other news, council members approved the promotions of Lieutenant Manuel Jimenez to the Rank of Captain, Detective Sergeant Dominick Frino to the Rank of Lieutenant and Detective Richard Cocca to the Rank of Detective Sergeant all to the Roselle Park Police Department respectively.

*Wynter Aiken is reporting this story as part of the journalism program at Kean University

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