Parking management plan underway

City seeks to ease parking woes

The city will use the new parking management plan for future zoning and policy recommendations.
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The city will use the new parking management plan for future zoning and policy recommendations.

Like all urban areas, Jersey City is not immune to parking problems, and residents often voice frustration about not enough on-street parking.

Jersey City is attempting to address parking woes through the creation of the city’s first-ever Parking Management Plan.

This initiative, according to the city’s Senior Transportation Planner Barkha Patel, began about a year and a half ago after the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority awarded the city a grant to start the process.

The city, along with consultants, have been collecting data over the past year on the current parking supply to construct a comprehensive inventory on what parking the city currently has “because,” said Patel, “we don’t have a great sense related to on-street and off-street parking as well as private and public parking in the city … We haven’t had a comprehensive inventory until now.”

By creating a citywide inventory database, the city will be able to asses the current parking supply and the demand for that parking.

The parking inventory will catalog the existing supply of on- and off-street public and private parking along with occupancy rate, pricing, and use restrictions.

The goal is to make the best use of the current parking supply. The plan will identify the most innovative strategies to manage parking for current and future development, inform zoning and policy regulations, and help reduce traffic congestion generated by single-occupancy vehicles.

The aim is also to align with the goals in the Circulation Element of the city’s master plan to limit land dedicated to parking near transit stations in order to encourage the use of public transit throughout the city.

Last summer the project team began public ward meetings to discuss parking.

Recently in downtown Jersey City at Grace Church Van Vorst in Ward E, residents met with the project team to discuss problem areas, concerns, and suggested ways to improve parking.

Pedestrian Plaza a problem area 

Many residents said parking is difficult, particularly after 4 p.m. because out of towners come to downtown to eat or frequent downtown businesses.

It’s particularly difficult to find parking on streets near the Newark Pedestrian Plaza because of all the visitors.

Paulus Hook residents complained that many tenants in large developments park on the street instead of paying to park in the spots their buildings provide, often leaving these garages almost empty, forcing others to circle for hours looking for street parking.

Suggestions to help alleviate parking problems included creating resident-only parking zones and lots, stricter parking enforcement, and increasing the cost of tickets, and incentivizing  out of towners who visit the pedestrian plaza to park in lots or use public transportation.

Other suggestions included increasing the fee for a residential parking permit, so the demand for on-street parking will decrease, and mandating that all new developments include a parking space per unit for a one-car-to-one-apartment ratio.

According to the project team, the city will launch an online survey in the coming weeks to gain more public feedback. In a few months, there will be public workshops to discuss citywide parking.

The team will visit problem areas and larger neighborhoods in order to make more informed recommendations regarding policies and zoning.

According to the consultants, a final public meeting will be held in the spring once the plan is finalized.

To provide input residents can email cityplanning@jcnj.org.

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.