West New York officials say the town is looking into adding more angled parking. Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and the Board of Commissioners discussed the topic at their August meeting, prompted by a resident proposal.
Francesco Miqueli spoke in favor of more angled parking throughout the town. He said he has identified streets in town that would be suitable for it, and the idea has local support.
“Recently, we started to do a petition to just get, the general public and the residents, their interest and whether they wanted angled parking,” Miqueli said. “I pinpointed where the streets are wide enough to accommodate angled parking. We went out in a petition and it’s overwhelming the amount of people that are wanting to have these new additional parking spaces added.”
“Everybody knows parking in town is bad,” he said. “People are parking on crosswalks, fire hydrants, bus stops, and getting very creative with their parking. As an interim solution, I think we can work to see if can implement angled parking in the town of West New York.”
Miqueli said he can send over a map to the town of the streets that are suitable for this. He determined the streets by consulting with engineers from Boswell Engineering, who worked on angled parking in North Bergen.
“There’s a grant that’s out there right now called Safe Streets and Roads for All,” Miqueli said. “It would possibly pay for that, putting the angled parking in and addressing any other unsafe issues. That’s what that grant kind of addresses, to reduce fatalities and all, but there’s a portion in there that it could actually pay for taking care of this, to implement angled parking.”
Using the grant, Miqueli wants to work with the town to see the plan through.
“We can work together, you guys can review it to see if we can get angled parking rolled out throughout the town, and to alleviate issues that people are having today,” Miqueli said.
Mayor said angled parking project is underway
Rodriguez said he appreciated Miqueli’s concern. However, the town is already pursuing angled parking.
“You live here, so you understand the need for parking,” Rodriguez said. “I know you’re paying attention, because if you’ve got us this far in looking into the process of angled parking, then you probably know that we’ve started implementing angled parking in our municipality.”
Angled parking has already been implemented in West New York on Broadway by West New York Public School 2. Rodriguez said the town engineer spearheaded the project and is looking at other areas in the community to bring angled parking.
“As you can imagine, studies need to be conducted,” Rodriguez said. “If you’ve gone as far as reaching out to engineers, you know that measurements need to be taken, traffic studies need to be conducted. So we’ve already started that.”
Rodriguez noted that some streets Miqueli was eyeing for angled parking may need reconsideration.
“Obviously, the width of Park Avenue and the traffic needs to be taken into account,” Rodriguez said. “I know that you’ve had more than one conversation with our Business Administrator Luis Baez on this matter. For you to say that you’d like for the town to implement angled parking, I appreciate your concern, but you’re late to the game. We’ve already started doing that and we’re looking forward to doing that in any other area that fits.”
According to Rodriguez, Baez is continuing to discuss the matter with Miqueli despite angled parking already being implemented.
“Those conversations are ongoing, and as you know the wheels of government are a little slower than in the private sector,” Rodriguez said. “We can’t just say we’re going to do this today and do it the next day. It has to go through the Board of Commissioners before it gets to becoming a resolution or an ordinance or what matter. It has to be thoroughly reviewed by our engineer and his team.”
Angled parking beyond Broadway?
Miqueli acknowledged there was already angled parking on Broadway, to which Rodriguez criticized his presentation for making it seem like there was not already angled parking.
“I appreciate what they did on Broadway, that was one of the streets we kind of identified in the map,” Miqueli said.
“The project is ongoing, which mean that is started and has not finished yet,” Rodriguez said. “Clearly we need to identify those areas and where it fits for the community.”
Miqueli also noted that the owners of the Overlook Terrace Apartments at 5701 Boulevard East are interested in working with the town on parking. He said 5601, another building in the apartment complex, had a “different agenda” but did not elaborate.
“They’re interested in engaging with the town of West New York in improvements to help their problem because they can accommodate a lot of parking for their residents,” Miqueli said. “They wish to talk with you guys to see if they could do a win-win between the town of West new York and build a parking facility in that area. That’s something they’re very interested in.”
Rodriguez again thanked Miqueli, but noted they already had contact with the owners.
“We have out contacts and in both of those buildings,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously because these are two very big buildings in our community, we deal with the management and ownership there quite often. But thank you for passing that along.”
Miqueli thanked Rodriguez and the board for their time, and urged them to review his plan. He said the grant application was due before September 15, and could be used not only for the parking, but also lighting and traffic signal improvements.
Traffic project in the works, too
Meanwhile, the town is moving forward with plans to construct three parking decks to address parking problems. And at the August meeting, Commissioner Margarita Guzman noted that she has been working with Rodriguez and the town on a traffic project.
“I’ve been on the ground with the engineers from PSE&G,” Guzman said. “We have a big project from the traffic department that is already laid out to start working on the signs and change… So that is something in the works at this moment.”
The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be held on September 7 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, go to westnewyorknj.org.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.