HomePrinceton PacketPrinceton Packet NewsPrinceton Council to consider parking task force report at special meeting

Princeton Council to consider parking task force report at special meeting

The Princeton Permit Parking Task Force, which has been studying how to accommodate residential and business parking in several neighborhoods, will present its recommendations at a special Princeton Council meeting next month.

The Princeton Council has scheduled a special work session, set for Jan. 11 at 7 p.m., to discuss parking issues. The meeting may be held via Zoom, or in-person at Witherspoon Hall or hybrid. A final location will be determined later.

The task force was created in 2019 to bring uniformity to the differing parking regulations that had applied in the former Princeton Borough and the former Princeton Township, prior to consolidation in 2013.

The task force also has been seeking to balance the parking needs of residents, visitors and the employees of the businesses in the Central Business District. A pilot permit program had been suggested for the Witherspoon-Jackson and “tree streets” neighborhoods, because those are the areas that generated the most complaints about inadequate parking.

Various proposals have been suggested to accommodate parking and spread it out in town, but there has been pushback on some of those recommendations. One proposal called for on-street permit parking in the Western Section of Princeton, such as Hodge Road, Library Place, Boudinot Street and Morven Place.

The latest iteration, which was released Dec. 6, drops the proposal for on-street permit parking in the Western Section. It includes on-street permit parking in the Witherspoon-Jackson and tree street neighborhoods for residents whose homes lack off-street parking or that have single-car driveways.

Residents who do not have off-street parking would be eligible for one free permit. A second permit could be purchased for $240 per year. Residents who have a one-car driveway, but who have an additional car or truck, could purchase a permit for on-street parking for $240 per year.

The on-street parking permit means a resident could park their car or truck on the street around the clock, every day of the year. Princeton University staff and students may not purchase on-street parking permits.

In the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, the eligible streets include Witherspoon Street and John Street, and several side streets between them – Green, Quarry, Maclean, Lytle and Clay streets, and Leigh and Birch avenues.

The “tree streets” neighborhood includes Moran Avenue, Chestnut Street, Pine Street, Maple Street, Spruce Street and Linden Lane. It also includes streets between Princeton Avenue and Murray Place, such as Patton and Aiken avenues.

At the other end of town, on-street parking on Bank Street would be limited to Bank Street residents. Residents who do not have driveways or off-street parking would be issued one free permit per household.

All residents would be able to purchase an overnight parking permit for $5 for a 24-hour period in neighborhoods where overnight parking is banned. A maximum of 30 overnight parking permits could be purchased by the resident in one calendar year.

Turning to employee parking, the task force recommendations include allowing a business owner to purchase an on-street parking permit for employees at a cost of $30 per month for each permit. It would be for daytime parking only.

A combined total of 240 employee permits would be issued for the former Westminster Choir College’s parking lot, near Princeton High School, and at the municipally-owned Maclean Street parking lot off Witherspoon Street.

Employee parking permits also would be issued for under-utilized metered parking spaces on Edwards Place, Dickinson Street and parts of University Place and Alexander Street.

A limited number of employee parking permits may be issued on Lytle Street in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, and on Spruce Street and Linden Lane in the tree streets neighborhood – but only after residents’ permits have been issued.

Other changes recommended by the task force include changing the two-hour parking limit to three hours in all neighborhoods. It would allow more time for visitors to eat and shop in town, and for residents’ guests to park.

Plumbers, carpenters and other tradesmen would not have to purchase a parking permit while they are working a resident’s home. The parking enforcement officers would not issue tickets to those vehicles if they exceed the three-hour limit.

All permits would be issued through online purchases on in-person at the Princeton Municipal Clerk’s Office at the Witherspoon Hall municipal building at 400 Witherspoon Street.


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