North Bergen holds off on Aschoff Place parking ban during snow

The board did not vote on the measure to answer resident questions regarding the impact

North Bergen has held off on an ordinance that would prohibit parking on a portion of Aschoff Place during a snowstorm.

Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners made the decision not to adopt the ordinance at its November 9 meeting after a resident on the street raised questions about the measure.

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At an October meeting, the board introduced an ordinance that would temporarily prohibit parking on a portion of a street when it snows. According to the ordinance, due to the configuration of certain streets in the Township of North Bergen, there is a need to prohibit parking during times when there is an accumulation of snow in order to allow plows to effectively operate.

Whenever snow has fallen and accumulated enough to cover the street, no vehicle would be allowed to park on a portion of Aschoff Place. Parking would be prohibited on the southernmost 25 feet of the street, on both sides.

The parking prohibition would remain in effect until after the snow has ceased and until the snow on the street has been removed or disappeared so that parking would not interfere with traffic flow. Any violation of the ordinance be deemed a nuisance and danger to the safe and proper regulation of traffic, and would allow any police officer to provide for the removal of the vehicle.

The owner or lessee of the vehicles would be required to pay the costs of removal, towing, and storage before getting their ride back. If convicted, the fine for violations would not exceed $200.

Will handicapped space and other parking be removed?

Resident Madeline Torraco lives on Aschoff Place. She said the ordinance was a result of a truck accident with her parked vehicle.

“I think this was introduced because the salt truck actually backed into our car while parked at the dead end street,” Torraco said.

While she thought the ordinance would apply to one side of the street, was alarmed when it covered both. She said the other side of the street across from her home has a parking space reserved for a handicapped person.

“Our thought was that at the dead end, the middle space was going to be the only one that was going to be impacted by this ordinance,” Torraco said. “But based on this ordinance, I see that it’s both sides of the street on the southern end. Our neighbor has a handicapped space on one of the sides. I just want to double check if that space will be okay for her to continue parking in when it snows, even though this ordinance would be passed.”

Another normal parking space on the street is also utilized frequently by an elderly resident. That space would also be affected by the ordinance.

Torraco asked if the space that’s in front of the other house can remain as a regular parking space. “We do have another elderly person across the street that regularly parks there. So our thought was just the middle space or the southern end would be the one impacted, not all three spaces.”

Township waits on adopting measure until there is more information

In response, Town Attorney Tom Kobin said that he did not have all the information on what would be impacted by the 25 foot parking prohibition on the southern end of the street. He suggested adjourning the public hearing but holding off on any vote until the next meeting.

Sacco said, “I’d rather wait on it.”

“None of that, I wasn’t aware of the handicapped spot on that side,” Kobin said. “So we can certainly confer with the Police Department and figure that out.”

Kobin told Torraco to leave her information so the township can get in touch with her further on the matter. Sacco echoed that since the accident with her vehicle was the crux of the ordinance, to get in touch with the township about it.

The board closed the public hearing. However, they deferred on taking a final vote on the matter until next meeting.

Additionally, the board introduced an ordinance that would add a stop sign at the intersection of 78th Street and Park Avenue, which has been deemed to be of particular hazard. The new sign would go on Park Avenue facing southbound traffic.

That ordinance will be up for a hearing and a vote, and the other ordinance will be up for just a vote, both at the next meeting of the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, November 22 at 11 a.m. in the municipal chambers at Town Hall at 4233 Kennedy Boulevard. For more information, go to northbergen.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 disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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