Parking Restrictions Draw Mixed Reaction
At Monday night's meeting the Cedar Grove Council passed ordinance setting two-hour commuter parking limits.
When residents approached the Cedar Grove Township Council in April complaining about commuters parking on Devonshire Road and seeking parking time limits, the council said they would study the situation and try to resolve it amicably.
On Monday night, the council took action, voting unanimously to put two-hour time limits on four township roads from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Briarhill Road (south side), Devonshire Road (south side), Lakewood Avenue (north side) and Union Street (north side).
“These roads will have time limits for parking due to congestion from people commuting to New York and parking on these roads all day,” said Deputy Mayor Robert O'Toole at Monday’s meeting.
Residents on the affected streets expressed mixed reactions to the ordinance Thursday.
“These people are coming from other towns to catch the bus and are looking to save money on parking. I feel for them but NJ Transit provides other places for them to park,” said Devonshire resident Ralph Mazzula.
Mazzula has lived on the street for 10 years and said they recently had a hit and run on the street within the last few weeks. The street becomes too narrow when cars park along the road, he added.
“We pay to live here and we pay our taxes and we have our streets bogged down with cars,” he said. “They should do this (parking restrictions) for all the streets along Ridge road. People are probably just going to find a different place to park which will push the problem elsewhere.”
Other Devonshire residents are less concerned with the parking and are more concerned with the speed drivers travel on the road and the way they turn around in the cul-de-sac.
“I'm concerned for my grandchildren, especially in the summer when they are outside playing,” said Virginia Salerno, who has lived on the street for 15 years.
“Instead of turning around in driveways, they turn around in the cul-de-sac,” she added.
She feels parking on the cul-de-sac is not a problem when drivers park parallel to the curb, but occasionally they park head-on, adjacent to the curb which blocks the road.
Salerno said she puts out a sign to remind drivers to slow down on her street.
Lakewood Avenue resident Bob Casani has lived on the street for more than 30 years and has noticed some congestion because of commuters. Cars park on both sides of the road making it difficult to maneuver through the narrow street.
“On school days it becomes a problem because people park on both sides of the street,” he said. “I don't think the commuters will really be affected by this because they can just park on the other side.”
Across the street, residents have had problems accessing their driveway because of the increase in commuter over the years.
“We've had some problems with people blocking us in which makes it harder for us to get in and out of the driveway,” said Bob Farrell who moved to the block three years ago. “It shouldn't really impact us that much, but if anything, it’s a good thing.”
On Union Street, Joe Gilmartin, who has lived in his home for 35 years, does not have a problem with the commuters but understands there is an issue.
“Some people get all upset about having cars in front of their house day after day. I moved here from Queens so I'm used to it,” said Gilmartin. “I see why people have a problem though, because there are places for them to park and they don't use them.”
Over on Briarhill Road, some residents don't see the problem while some residents disagree with the ordinance completely.
“I havn't experienced any trouble,” said 19-year old Jake Perazzone. “They have been parking there for as long as I can remember.”
Cynthia Grey, a Briarhill resident of 22 years says she feels bad for the commuters and disagrees with the ordinance.
“I used to commute to the city and I am happy that they were able to park here,” she said. “We have to give the commuters a break.”
“I think each street needs to be looked at differently,” she added.