By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net
In a Coaster article (Jan. 25, 2017) it was reported that the Township Committee approved “almost 100 new parking spaces”and that the Committee was “acting on recommendations presented by the ad hoc OG Parking Task Force.” That task force has members on it from the OGHOA.
The plan includes creating diagonal head-on parking on the north side of Main Ave. from New Jersey Ave. to Lawrence Ave. The same is planned on the west side of Central Avenue from Heck to Webb avenues.
But diagonal parking is ugly. The “new spaces” are created by cramming more cars into a given space where currently there is parallel parking. Diagonal parking may be OK for commercial areas, but in residential areas it is not suitable.
On Main Avenue, starting from the eastern edge of Firemen’s Park and heading west, the diagonal parking will look congested and will visually and actually narrow Main Avenue. Currently that portion of the Avenue has an impressive and welcoming boulevard look.
For visitors who come into our historic town, they will not enjoy the same openness that currently shows off the Grove at its best with historic homes and a lovely park. In addition the town will lose one of the few places where a bus or truck can legally pull over and give some respite for the drivers to get their bearings or have a coffee.
As for how our leaders feel about this idea, here are two quotes borrowed from the Coaster:
Deputy Mayor Nick Williams, a member of the Township’s parking task force said, “We are going to move forward with these recommendations, and I think the task force did a good job.”
Resident Joyce Klein who is a member of the OGHOA and chairman of their parking committee said, “This is a great start* but I hope to think that this is the beginning and not the end of the parking study.” She is also on the task force.
So we will get some more spaces, but we don’t need more congestion and density as the price to pay in our residential areas while the town continues its slide downhill. The policy makers think that this will be wonderful, but do you think these task force people are doing the right thing?
It seems that they believe that all Grovers care about is parking and that we will accept any new spaces no matter the price. Do you think the task force gave any consideration to the appearance of our town—–how about the more important variables such as air, space and light? How about our quality of life?
This plan of squeezing more cars onto our streets fits in with the worrisome current pattern of more condos, more density, and more crowding. Making more spaces is not necessarily better than leaving those streets alone.
Who is this really helping?–the commercial and real estate interests, or the people who live here? Help the residents with parking stickers and do something to reduce the numbers of cars coming into town and the number of town-clogging events that are too often and create temporary paralysis for OG tax payers. Or build a parking garage somewhere.
This plan will be implemented by Memorial Day. Other ideas are also being considered, including even more diagonal parking on other parts of Central Avenue.
When it comes to policies that hurt our historic town, if no one complains, they will soon do it again:
MARILYN MONROE “Do It Again.”