Residents will have another opportunity to speak on parking changes in Princeton

Work on the reconstruction project on Bank Street, which is a narrow off Nassau Street and opposite University Place, began last week after several storm-related postponements.

The Princeton Council has scheduled a special meeting March 1 at 7 p.m. to continue its discussion of the Princeton Permit Parking Task Force’s recommendations, picking up where it left off at its Jan. 11 work session on parking issues.

Princeton Council President Leticia Fraga, who chairs the Princeton Permit Parking Task Force, said the meeting will offer an opportunity for residents to speak who had not been heard at the Jan. 11 meeting.

“Hopefully, the Princeton Council will take into consideration some recommendations we will be making for some very immediate needs, including overnight parking, that we have heard from residents,” Fraga said.

The task force was created in 2019 to bring uniformity to the different parking regulations that had applied in the former Princeton Borough and 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 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 neighborhoods 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 permit parking in the western section of Princeton, such as Hodge Road, Library Place, Boudinot Street and Morven Place.

The latest iteration, released Dec. 6, 2021, drops the proposal for on-street permit parking in the western section. It includes on-street permit parking in the Witherspoon-Jackson and tree streets neighborhoods for residents whose homes lack off-street parking or who have single-car driveways.

The on-street parking permit means a resident could park their vehicle on the street around the clock, every day of the year. Princeton University staff and students would not be able to purchase an on-street parking permit.

All residents would be able to purchase an overnight parking permit for $5 for a 24-hour 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.

Employee parking permits could be issued for the municipally-owned Maclean Street parking lot off Witherspoon Street, and for under-utilized metered parking spaces on Edwards Place, Dickinson Street, and parts of University Place and Alexander Street.

Another recommendation – allowing employers to purchase a parking permit for the former Westminster Choir College parking lot – has been implemented. There are 240 parking spaces in the lot.

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 free 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.