Letters to the Editor

Parking the Problem

3d1adfd24c5365b115d5_5b0969680de0a2b560de_letter_to_the_editor.jpg
3d1adfd24c5365b115d5_5b0969680de0a2b560de_letter_to_the_editor.jpg

A very unhappy public sat through yet another convoluted rationalization to build a third parking garage at taxpayer expense.

What we didn't hear are the real issues and solutions to address them. The real problems are twofold. First, is the employee parking issue. A great deal of the downtown is now home to restaurants. Waiters, waitresses, dishwashers and busboys cannot afford to pay high monthly employee parking fees. Building an expensive garage will aggravate this, not improve it.   Employers must pay for these employees and insist they park where they are suppose to.  It is the cost of doing business here.
 
Secondly, when people complain that they cannot find a place to park, often what they mean is  “I could not find a place to park close to where I wanted to go.” Another large garage in a somewhat remote location does not solve this issue. The Parking Authority stated the lot behind CVS is “too far away.” The Post Office Lot is essentially the same distance away from the center yet somehow this is an option?

Sign Up for E-News

Perhaps the most disconcerting comment of the evening was delivered by Mayor Dickson who said we need to build a garage to attract ratables. Build it and they will come? This coming from the same person who pushed for converting our free parking to pay lots. This plan has failed in many regards. It did not generate the anticipated revenues, exceeded operating costs and drove users out of town to free parking in New Providence, Chatham and Madison. The project cost about $1.5 million including the “Deforest beautification” and you want us to spend millions and millions more?
 
The ground floor retail footprint in the CRBD is fixed so any redevelopment would bring only more office. Why would we want that, and why should we the taxpayers spend millions of dollars to subsidize the enrichment of private developers? The governing body has no right to gamble with the the taxpayers' dollars.  Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.

A garage on the Post Office Lot will be another dismal failure. It is too remote, and too many people simply do not like to use garages. I believe a multi-pronged approach would serve our city far better. Several years ago, I proposed putting a grade level deck over the depressed existing lot next to the train station owned by DOT. It would put the user parking where it is needed the most, and could greatly improve the aesthetics of this area. DOT could be promised more commuter parking, something they greatly want in return. This could be accomplished by adding another level to the existing tiered garage and committing some number of spaces for commuter parking.  Out of town parking generates significantly higher revenues than any other parking.
 
Last, is the “K” lot behind CVS. Given the grade elevations, this lot in conjunction with CVS could be replaced with a two level lot, with the lower level at the Deforest grade and the upper level essentially where the current level is. Each level would have its own entry/exit (as would the RR lot) eliminating the need for ramps which erode efficiency. Put employee parking here, freeing up other spaces for downtown users.

Bringing in more ratables can be accomplished without taxpayer subsidies. We have two such opportunities. Five year ago, Summit adopted new zoning ordinances for the Broad Street and Morris Ave/River Road corridors. The development community universally criticized these ordinances. Since nothing has happened in either location, it demonstrates that the ordinances have failed. It is  time to amend these ordinances to attract new ratables. The future of the Merck Campus is still somewhat unclear and should be a major consideration in any Morris Avenue redevelopment.

Building a massive, industrial looking parking garage on the Post Office lot is not an answer to either of the  problems discussed above, and building one at Deforest/Woodland is absolutely unthinkable.

Mike Vernotico

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2b479d76ae5680ce87d7_game_playing

Fri, February 23, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Family Play Group

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education

Carousel_image_fb83e79618441a5ad4d8_47fcc3e8ae0178308f2a_a21acdf99b1c872c58f5_2c78d58c44fe9acd823a_5d58cb3b00e2d7e4426e_c06286477d435e93b988_05aba777a7afefe9c29e_screen_shot_2017-10-31_at_11.36.15_am

Fri, February 23, 8:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Open Mic Night

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_881b6d28cc660d21656c_cc_meet_the_mayor

Sat, February 24, 1:30 PM

Best Cellars, Summit

Meet the Mayor

Community Calendar

Summit Fire Department Blotter

12/16/17 7:42 am     FD dispatched to DE FOREST AVENUE and MAPLE STREET for a strong odor of natural gas in area. On arrival found an outside odor of natural gas. PSEG was requested and responded to the scene. Readings of 7% natural gas were found in the manholes in the center of the intersection. CVS was checked and zero readings for natural gas were found. Summit FD was released ...

Summit Police Blotter

February 12, 2018

2/1 - At 0955 hours a report was taken for a theft of a street sign. The unlawful incident occurred between an unknown time frame on Pine Grove Avenue. Value of the street sign was not immediately available at the time of the report.

2/5 - Roberto C. Noel-Berman, 23, of Summit was arrested and charged with possession of CDS. Mr. Noel-Berman was released with a pending court date.

2/5 - ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Says Market Healthy, Strong Despite Sell-Offs

February 22, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on FOX Business News discussing the market sell-off post the release of the Fed Minutes:

video.foxbusiness.com

For nearly 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and ...

Tax Season is Here; Time to Contact Kleespies, Horwitz & Associates

CLARK, NJ - Kleespies, Horwitz & Associates, LLC is accepting appointments for personal and corporate 2017 tax returns.  

Don't take chances with do-it-yourself tax programs or pop-up tax-preparers.   Our years of experience will ensure your tax return is thorough, accurate, and tailored to your particular tax circumstances. Entrust your tax and ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

Movies! Movies! Movies! - Three Ways to Enjoy Movies

Most people who use the Summit Free Public Library are familiar with our video collection: thousands of DVDs and nearly 800 BluRays -- and growing!

In addition to recent box-office hits and Hollywood classics, we have foreign films, anime, and musical performances from Aida to ZZ Top. Binge-watch a must-see TV series, discover a new one, or introduce your kids to your childhood ...