Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Ocean GRove parking issues’ Category

This is what the north side of Main Ave. looks like with diagonal parking. this scene is near NJ Avenue, and the new plan will extend this to Lawrence Avenue. Jean Breding photo, Blogfinger staff.©

This is what the north side of Main Avenue   looks like currently with diagonal parking. This scene is near New Jersey Avenue, and the new plan will extend this to Lawrence Avenue.  Jean Bredin photo, Blogfinger staff.© 2/16/17.

 

This is the north side of Main Ave. along the edge of Firemen's Park. Imagine it clogged with diagonally parked cars. ©

This is the north side of Main Ave. along the edge of Firemen’s Park. Imagine it clogged with diagonally parked cars. © Jean Bredin photo; Blogfinger staff. 2/16/17.

 

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.”

 

 

Read Full Post »

Mary's Place. Artists rendering. Internet photo.

Mary’s Place. Artists rendering. Internet photo.

To the Editor:

As they used to say in Star Trek:  “Space— the final frontier” But here in Ocean Grove it is parking spaces—-the final frontier :

In Ocean Grove it always comes down to parking and land usage and abuses. On our block on Main and Beach, The Henry Richard Inn is now being remodeled and converted into a single family home. Along Main Avenue, Mary’s place is now chock-full of volunteers’ cars and resident cars.

Yes, even after Labor Day, we can look west down the block and see no spots available on the south side of the street and some have even migrated onto Beach Avenue, making it a bit more challenging for the folks on Beach to find spaces in front of their own condo. So, while we have lost the Henry Richard’s parking challenges in the summer, we are now looking at folks finding spaces when we ordinarily could park without a single thought after Labor Day.

If we add to this the family on Main next to the old Henry Richard, we are now getting one or two of their fleet of cars now parking on Beach to add to our agita. Of course, that is the family and house that at time commandeers more than five or six spots on the south side of Main. The ritual of pulling out cars and replacing the space with motor bikes and schoolers is most entertaining on a summer’s day.

Ocean Grove has always been described as a “quirky” place. The owners of Mary’s Place along Main on the south side I do not think ever contacted or considered their new neighbors to be; instead, we saw the full use of those two building lots right to the very edge of the property lines.

It’s a done deal for a good cause, but those who objected to the aggressive use of that property were characterized as heartless and uncaring, and so it goes in Ocean Grove. Neighbors were worried about trucks, but what has happened is that parking in the usual Ocean Grove way has become a real issue for many.

All this, while there are spots galore on the north side in front of the convent and across the street in front of the Majestic, After all it is autumn in Ocean Grove and the streets are emptier as usual, but somehow, the big house that is Mary’s Place continues to add to our parking woes.

When will we get “residential” parking permits for people who pay taxes in Neptune and who pay the outrageous ground rents to a non-profit authority?

JESSE

Ocean Grove, N.J. Sept. 26, 2016.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:    Below is a quote  from our article about Mary’s Place dated September 19, 2014:

“When people walk by Mary’s Place, they won’t admire its beauty; instead they will ask, “Who was responsible for allowing this out-of-place building to be constructed in this quaint, historic, residential town? ” They will ask why two fine Victorian single family houses were not placed there instead, like we now have on the Pathway. And they will see the parking problems and congestion due to the 10 clients staying there, the staff who will be needed to maintain the place, the visitors, and the rest of the support team who teach yoga, etc. Then there will be the deliveries, laundry trucks, garbage pickups, etc.”

And yes, we did get hate mail  over our opposition to the Mary’s Place zoning decisions.  But we also received support from commenters to that editorial.

Here is a link to that 2014 piece:

https://blogfinger.net/2014/09/19/marys-controversy-whats-next/

Read Full Post »

Here's a cure: privatize a public street and make it a private parking lot  (Embury Arms) Whitfield Avenue near Heck.

Here’s a cure: privatize a public street and make it a private parking lot (Embury Arms) Whitfield Avenue near Heck.

Read this BF link to find out about this:

https://blogfinger.net/2015/09/24/embury-arms-condominiums-how-did-that-fiasco-come-about/

 

Another cure:  Build a two car garage  (this one is on Whitfield near Abbott)  Blogfinger photo

Another cure: Build a two car garage (this one is on Whitfield near Abbott) Blogfinger photo

 

Another cure for the parking blues: Get a smaller car.  Blogfinger photo on Heck Avenue. ©

Another cure for the parking blues: Get a smaller car. Blogfinger photo on Heck Avenue. ©

BEATLES

Read Full Post »

Sometimes it's hard to squeeze in.

Sometimes it’s hard to squeeze in.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

At the June 13, 2016  Township Committee meeting, there was this item in the minutes about a man who went to the microphone for his 5 minutes in front of the Town fourfathers and one mother:

“Ray DeFaria, 12 New York Avenue, applauded the Committee for their thoroughness in addressing some issues with the parking. He stated Ocean Grove’s history is a Christian retreat and people come from all over and it is buyer beware when you come in.

“He stated people come in to worship and it is a form of discrimination if you are going to charge people to come in to church. He stated the impact in Ocean Grove is minimal and the composite of Ocean Grove has changed and everyone has cars. He stated there should be planning when contemplating moving into Ocean Grove.”

Editor’s note:  It isn’t exactly clear as to what Ray is saying, but it does illustrate that his is one of a number of factions in town which have their own unique agendas regarding parking. That, of course, will complicate the work of the new Parking Task Force which has members from the CMA, the Police Dept, the Township Comedy, the Engineering Dept., the Chamber of Commercials, The Home Groaners Assoc., and the public at large  (no reference to the overweight.)

This past July 4 and during Bridgefest, we had a state of crowding where every available parking space in town seemed to be taken. Only someone leaving to go to the hospital with a cardiac arrest would have moved their car.  Prospective parkers were driving around aimlessly, wild-eyed, and with a high degree of frustration.

You may recall that last year, the mayor of Belmar had to close his town during a seafood festival because of traffic overload.  This is what he said, “They would have come into town driving their car with no place to park, no place really to drive and they probably would not have made either the beach or the seafood festival anyway,” he told NBC 4 New York. Sound familiar?

Well now we know that Ocean Grove sometimes reaches capacity, and it often comes close. And when that happens, the lives of those who live here are adversely affected.

So the current idea that we can solve the parking problems in Ocean Grove by appointing  a task force which will try to re-shuffle the deck in a variety of ways, will not work,  especially whenever the number of cars becomes nearly the same as  the number of spaces, and that is not unusual.  And even if there are enough spaces for each car wanting to park, the sheer aggravation and stress  of trying to find a space is toxic to the lifestyles of residents in the Grove.   And even if it is just on weekends from  May through October, that is a substantial per cent of the time when residents have to wrestle with parking issues.

This is what an OG nurse had to say yesterday: “When I work 14 hours I am not happy about leaving my car at the hospital and paying for a cab home, let alone watching my 91 year old neighbor who leaves to visit his wife at Manor by the Sea and ends up walking home with his walker. As a native born Grover, I don’t expect a space in front of my house, but the cars and occupancy now associated with summer rentals have gotten out of control.”

As much as I, a homeowner, want  a reserved space sticker, that plan will cause the number of spaces for those without stickers to decline.  If renters are given stickers, as some have suggested, that plan will be hopeless.   If we remove dumpsters and pods, it will create a trivial number of extra spaces.

And trying to reduce demand by closing the bridges to AP will not help; nor will parking meters.  Hiring a parking engineer won’t work because he has nothing to work with.

So, we have a fixed number of spaces, and according to the laws of physics,  two cars  cannot occupy the same space at the same time.  On top of that, Ocean Grove is becoming more popular each year, so the numbers of cars continue to rise, and unlike other popular Shore towns, we cannot seek refuge in our garages and driveways, so it is tougher here.

Therefore, given the conflicting factions and the near capacity parking availability,  the Task Force is essentially doomed in its mission except for some cosmetic changes,  and they might as well return to their usual state of denial regarding the real causes of the mess.

The inevitable conclusion is that we now need a new paradigm for the town of Ocean Grove.

The solution  is to recognize that we have reached a turning point in this town:  supersaturation —-more cars than spaces.  Even though that state doesn’t always exist, parking difficulties happen often enough to cause distress for residents and it is always hanging over our heads like a black cloud that comes and goes.  Something extraordinary needs to be done instead of the usual talk therapy:

Mayor McMillan should immediately declare that all future attempts to increase density will be  rejected out of hand, and that we will never allow another condominium  (such as #60 Main Avenue) or Mary’s-sort-of-Place to be built here without off-street parking, something which we can’t have, so just re-zone the entire town to single family Victorian houses, with no exceptions,  except for the North End which should be re-zoned for a public park.  Since the CMA has waited too long and dithered mindlessly for years, to the detriment of the town, now the zoning should say that they can only have  a park. Maybe Green Acres will pay for it.  It is the will of the people who pay the taxes and who live here.

Since we will not have any new parking spaces, count the number of current spaces in the Grove, post traffic directors at the two entrances, and only allow that number in, minus 300 for wiggle room, with residents and their friends having priority.  Make the rest wait in a line until a space opens up.  This will help the lifestyles of those who actually live in this town by creating some breathing room.      And we should give a discount on beach badges to anyone who walks or bikes into the Grove.

It won’t work?  OK, use the idea of supersaturation  (too many cars)  and come up with something else that recognizes the law of supply and demand and places the residents of the Grove at the top of the priority list.

If parking lots are offered at nearby schools on weekends and then tourists get bused  into town, each of those will pay for parking.  This will ease the car numbers to some extent.

And then we should allow only three mega-events per year because most of those smother and  devour the town—taking much without giving much back.   There would be one flea market and a craft market. The CMA has control over the number of mega-events on the Pathway.

The third mega-event which must be allowed  is the 4th of July parade.  That is the only huge event in OG which is for everyone—it brings happiness, laughter, entertainment, culture, knowledge, cheers for volunteers,  and a grand sense of community for all.  It is a gift which keeps on giving.   We will suffer with the parking for July 4, but buses and out of town parking must be provided.

All other mega-events should be disqualified for bringing nothing to town other than self interest and smothering crowds of cars and people.  The CMA’s large events like Bridgefest are special cases and must be considered separately.

And as for Ray DeFaria’s plea,  we all have our favorite causes, and if the Grove ever has pay-to- park, then it would be discriminatory to charge some but not charge others.

So we must, as stated before, ask the question, “Whom is the town for?”  Let the discussion begin.

BOBBY DARIN

“Somewhere beyond the sea
She’s there watching for me
If I could fly like birds on high
Then straight to her arms
I’d go sailing…..because I can’t give up my parking spot in Ocean Grove.”

Read Full Post »

images

 

From Grover 666:       “Some people are morally handicapped:   If they don’t have a phony handicapped sticker they reserve their own parking spot by putting an orange cone, a garbage can, or a chair on the street in front of their house.”

Editor’s note:  This comment was originally posted in relation to non-handicapped individuals parking in handicapped spaces.   But, three years ago,  there was a related Blogfinger discussion on this subject as it  pertains to holding regular spaces in the Grove.   It is especially a problem  after a snowstorm.

Here is the link, and check the comments:

https://blogfinger.net/2013/07/08/letter-to-editor-blocking-parking-spaces/

Read Full Post »

NY Times

NY Times

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

If you actually attend a Neptune Township Committee meeting, you will hear only what is scripted in the agenda.  After  several hours of hanging around, you can go to the microphone and offer a 5 minute  opinion, but none of the robots on the dais will actually have a conversation with you.  They may say, “Your time is up.”  Or they may ask a police officer to force you to sit down, or they may say something like, “We’ll look into that.”   So no one really expects them to offer much in the way of explanations or opinions when they face the public.  Luckily, whatever you might say is recorded and may actually be documented  in the minutes

However, amazingly, on June 30. 2016, they sent a letter to the editor of the Coaster to explain some things to us Grovers. This is unprecedented , so it must really be important.

In the letter they explain that  two members left early during the infamous Parking Committee meeting of a few weeks ago because  they had to attend a memorial service for Orlando victims.  Apparently the Committee doesn’t mind being accused of malfeasance ( eg the RSIS controversy), because they never respond to those opinions,  but now they had to go public to say why they cut the meeting short.

Here are some quotes from that Coaster letter.   You can judge it for yourselves.  None of the Committeemen  (and one woman)  actually signed the letter using their actual names.

“It is a false impression that the concerns of Ocean Grove residents regarding parking were not being fully addressed”

In relation to the parking issue, we take great pride in our efforts to make sure Neptune Township truly is a place where ‘community, business and tourism prosper.’   (Can anyone say “non sequitur?” )

…we will continue to focus on this issue while considering the effect our actions will have on the entirety of Neptune Township”     (Anyone want to explain this statement?)

“In addition to the establishment of this Advisory Board  (ie the Parking Task Force) we have also requested that the Neptune Township Business Administrator seek immediate solutions that can be implemented in the short term, and not be held up due to the necessary process actions which the municipal Committee must go though.   We expect residents will see some changes in the coming weeks.”   

(So, one bureaucrat at the Mother Ship will prepare  some sort of “immediate solutions” without letting those solutions be examined first by the citizens?  Who’s to say we will like those “solutions?”    Can you say “transparency?”   Does the Committte now rule  OG by edict?   Is this the slippery slope in action?  )

“As elected officials our jobs are to listen to, and act on, the concerns of all of the residents we serve…….We have no greater obligation than to make our Township an even better one to live and raise a family in.”   (Editor’s note:  “Really?”)

Can any of you find any specific information regarding parking in this letter which was entitled “Parking Changes will be Coming Soon.”    Can  you find anything besides platitudes and political double talk?

JACK JOHNSON   “Anything but the Truth”

What is this place?
Who am I?
Why did we come here?”

 

 

Read Full Post »

Autos jammed in on the Saturday of Bridgefest. Delaware Avenue.

Autos jammed in on the Saturday of Bridgefest. Delaware Avenue. Blogfinger photo,  June 25, 2016

Paul:      I’m sad to leave, but on the other hand, logistics in Ocean Grove are not favorable for aging Baby Boomers. It’s unbelievable to me that even Arlington Court, a 55-plus coop complex, has no parking spots for its senior (not me of course!) residents.

One of my neighbors in Arlington told me that she’d invited her elderly (but still driving) mother down to visit but her mother turned her down because she’d have to park too far away. It’s hard to understand why those responsible for development in the town allowed this to happen. It’s a major inconvenience that affects so many aspects of people’s daily lives.

Fran Hopkins

June 26, 2016

Editor’s note:     Do you get far away eyes when this subject comes up?   Here are the Rolling Stones:

Read Full Post »

To the Editor:

Has the OGHOA committee on parking submitted their recommendations or report to the OGHOA membership for a vote ?   Is there a written report for the public to read?

The OGHOA once before sent a letter to the RSIS (Residential Site Improvment Standards) Board before the membership voted on its contents. Is this happening again, this time with the Township?

I know that this so called committee incorrectly addressed the RSIS issue with the membership. It was clear that this committee failed to address the fact that the Township has created zoning for OG in violation of law. I know that two attorneys from the OGHOA  and a member of the Township Committee recommended that RSIS, a State mandated law, should be defied.

I am concerned that this committee’s recommendations are designed to encourage and promote the continual violation of law instead of demanding that Neptune Township bring its zoning for OG into conformity with the MLUL (Municipal Land Use Law) and RSIS.

KEVIN CHAMBERS

Ocean Grove, N.J., June 12, 2016

The writer is an Ocean Grove resident and historian. He has been an activist in town for many years, trying to insure lawful and fair zoning policies.

EDITOR’S NOTE:   The OGHOA parking recommendations will be presented to the Township Committee on June 13, 2016, at 5:00 pm,  at the Municipal Building, 2nd floor chamber. The public is invited.   The parking committee did present its findings to the membership, but we have no information as to whether a vote was taken. Perhaps someone from OGHOA wants to clear that up.  (addendum:  see Barbara Burns comment in the comments section; click below )

The Parking Committee report is on their web site at OGHOA.org, under the Parking Committee tab.   Click link below:

Parking Committee

The item below  is brought here from our Wassup section to further clarify and elucidate and provide appropriate music for the forthcoming meeting:

—-Workshop meeting of the Neptune Township Committed will hear a presentation by the HOA Parking Committee on June 13 at 5 pm at Town Hall. But don’t expect to speak or discuss. You can go to the mike for 5 minutes when the entire meeting is done. Bring some knitting and your nonsense meter. If you go, please take notes and send us a concise reports of the the results. (Blogfinger @verizon.net)

Be prepared to rush the dais to demand that the Neptune Township Committed members let you speak. The Home Groaners should be deposed and replaced by a group of White Panthers who will demand FREE parking stickers for home owners or else!

–Theme song for the parking meeting with the Home Groaners:  (with Zero Mostel from A Funny Thing Happened at the Township Meeting)

Read Full Post »

Even the British like to park in Ocean Grove, and cool cars attract even more crowding. Paul Goldfinger photo. Too bad she got in my way. ©

Even the British like to park in Ocean Grove, and cool cars attract even more crowding. Paul Goldfinger photo. Too bad she got in my way. ©

 

Editor’s note: Phillip Orton, Ph.D., a new addition to the pantheon of Grovers, has made some recent comments regarding our piece about the lawsuit at #50 Main Avenue.   Along the way he became interested in the subject of parking in the Grove, especially as it relates to the North End, so we are handing the podium to him for a guest editorial:

 

I should have made it clearer earlier — I am not talking specifically about the case in this post, which is one of law. I’m talking about the broader parking/development issues for Ocean Grove, here.

New developments, or not, Ocean Grove will be saddled with a huge parking problem in summer and especially when there are special events. Has there been much brainstorming about broad solutions to this problem? I presume so, but if so then I’m late to the conversation.

As you and I once discussed, if a North End development goes in with ample parking, there may be traffic problems as it’s a corner of town with poor access. So the solution at North End may not be more parking. And this leads to your very reasonable suggestion that we must have “one unit per lot” instead.

But I think there are many people like me, who would rather see something more reflective of the historical character of the North End area — a hotel, shops, and a bathhouse which were on that site.

Here are some ideas that might make a difference for the parking problem —

Parking permits and special curbside parking spots (with signs) that are only for residents, perhaps one per house, just to make sure everyone has at least one option.

Perhaps during summer and events, there could be parking provided elsewhere in Neptune, and shuttles every 10 minutes (just circling). Seems tough and not like a popular idea, but it might be seen as a better alternative than circling for an hour looking for a spot.

Perhaps there could be some kind of high-profile shuttle to and from the Asbury Park train station, looping to the beach and back. Tiki bar in the back … okay maybe not!

I personally anticipate that the region (Asbury, first) will slowly join the trend that many other medium-density towns in the US are already seeing — a slow movement toward reduced car ownership. Things like car sharing are coming. Uber is already here, and a way for people like me to occasionally do things I can’t do by bike/foot.

A modest investment in the existing rail corridor could greatly improve movement north-south along the shore and bring a lot of excitement and investment in transit-oriented development. I could go on and on …

I have lived and worked in places that are already doing this, for nearly 20 years (Portland, Hoboken). There are many people who want walkable towns and transit-oriented development, and are ready to own 0 or 1 car per housing unit.

This would be a great thing for Ocean Grove, a town of small lots and no driveways that was built before cars, largely around walking and train transportation.

New development could occur, yet parking availability could be improved, if diverse and creative minds get together to problem-solve and come up with some big ideas to take advantage of these trends.

PAUL EVANS:

Read Full Post »

January, 2016. Allenhurst, a neighbor with parking. Blogfinger photo.

January, 2016. Allenhurst, a neighbor with parking. Blogfinger photo.

CAROLE KING  “Sweet Seasons.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: