Letters to the Editor

Parking the Problem


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


Upcoming Events


Thu, April 26, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Spanish Storytime

Arts & Entertainment Education


Thu, April 26, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Ages 1-5 yrs.: Spanish Storytime

Arts & Entertainment Education


Thu, April 26, 4:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Grades K-5: Serendipity

Arts & Entertainment Education

Summit Police Blotter

April 11, 2018

3/13 - Jayhee Cho, 32, of Summit was arrested and charged with criminal mischief. Mr. Cho was processed and released with a pending court date.

3/13 - Aseyefigh K. Papanye, 30, of Brooklyn, New York was arrested and charged with theft of credit cards, fraudulent use of credit cards, theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, obstruction of the administration of the law, and possession of ...

Audio: Point View's Dietze Reviews Tech Alternatives to FAANG Stocks

April 25, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on Bloomberg on earnings season, FAANG stocks, and how to make money for the rest of the year!:


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

Video: Point View's Petrides Says Oil Price Hysteria Unwarranted, Talks Tech

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on BNN Bloomberg discussing stocks with oil near $70 per barrel and major Tech earnings this week:


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

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Managing the Ups and Downs of First-Time Homebuying

They accepted our offer, now what?

At times both equally exhilarating and terrifying, the purchase of home can be a total roller coaster ride -- especially when it is your first time going through the process. Between suddenly being expected to understand the intricacies of contracts and the inner workings of a home, you are also expected to start writing checks for amounts you may never have ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.


Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...