MILLBURN, NJ - Millburn Mayor Ted Bourke announced Wednesday evening at the Millburn Township Committee meeting that free parking in downtown Millburn and lots around town will begin next Saturday, October 29, and last through the holiday season. The suspension of parking fees in downtown have traditionally started on Black Friday, but shoppers will get an extra month in response to the Complete Streets project's impact on local businesses.
In his statement, the Bourke acknowledged some delays around the cinema area but indicated there is no anticipated change to completion of Phase 1 at the end of November. "The project by its own nature is going well, and even though we had that impact [the delay], there is no significant impact to the overall schedule." He continued noting the repercussions of delays in the heart of downtown. "We all know what we had was broken. We know we have to go through this to fix it."
When asked about local business owners hardships, Bourke acknowledged the challenges they face. "It's very hard for some businesses that are hand to mouth, and it's tough. The best push we can do is to get out of the epicenter as quickly as we can." The mayor also stressed the importance of working with those most affected. "We are in good communication, and I have talked to several business owners and some of the suggestions of what we can do have come from them."
He kept his message focused on community support of local businesses, "What I would like to stress, come down and support your businesses during this time. Yes, the traffic is a little bit harder, and the parking is a little bit harder, but they need our support."
Phase 1 is scheduled for completion at the end of November and Phase 2 is slated for Spring/Summer 2017 with Phase 3 kicking off in Summer/Fall 2017.