Officials propose pilot permit parking plan for Princeton residents

Parking spots in front of local businesses on North Main Street in Cranbury on Aug. 18.

The Princeton Council has referred a proposed pilot permit parking program for residents and business employees to the town’s professional staff for review and possible recommendations, following a three-hour special meeting March 1.

The professional staff will look at the proposed pilot program for the Witherspoon-Jackson and “tree streets” neighborhoods – Chestnut, Pine, Maple and Spruce streets and Linden Lane – which were the initial focus of the Princeton Permit Parking Task Force when it was created three years ago.

Residents in those neighborhoods, which are close to the Central Business District and the restaurants in the Jugtown neighborhood on the east end of Nassau Street, compete with employees for free on-street parking. Some residents lack off-street parking.

The task force’s latest set of recommendations would issue employee parking permits, which cost $30 per month, in off-street parking lots at the former Westminster Choir College parking lot and the municipal Maclean Street parking lot, and underused on-street parking meters.

Residents who lack off-street parking would be issued one free parking permit that would be good around the clock, and a second permit for $240 per year. Residents who have a one-car driveway and who would like to have an on-street parking permit could buy one for $240 per year.

On streets farther away from the Central Business District, employee permits could be purchased for $360 per year ($30 per month). The number of permits issued would be determined after subtracting the free residential permits issued.

The task force had considered including streets in the Western Section – Hodge Road, Library Place, Boudinot Street and Morven Place – to the permit parking plan.

The task force also considered including streets near Princeton High School and streets on the south side of Nassau Street – Aiken, Patton and Princeton avenues and Murray Place – in the permit parking plan.

All of those neighborhoods, however, were removed from the permit parking plan after residents pushed back against it – so what is left in the proposed permit parking plan are the Witherspoon-Jackson and tree streets neighborhoods.