First, the good news for people who park at the Spring Street Garage in downtown Princeton while they make a quick purchase or run an errand. The town is planning to extend the half hour people park are allowed to park in the garage for free up to one full hour.
Now, the bad news for library patrons who like to park at the garage and spend one to two hours at the library. The town is planning to eliminate the two hours of free parking now offered to library patrons.
Currently patrons get their parking tickets stamped at the library to qualify for two free hours of parking. Bob Hough, infrastructure and operations director for the town, said the library is not meant to be in the business of doing validating parking tickets.
“We want to move away from that,” Hough told the Princeton Council Monday night. “A lot of people walk in and out of the library to validate a ticket, and they never take out a book. They just come in to punch a ticket. We are losing money in that regard.”
Councilwoman Jenny Crumiller said offering a free hour of parking for everyone instead of just half an hour seems like a good solution.
“It makes a lot of sense,” she said. “I’ve seen with my own eyes that people go in the library just to validate their tickets. The library doesn’t like it.”
Within the next month, town employees will make recommendations on fee increases at the garage. The new fees will probably go into effect at the beginning of 2016.
The parking garage system at the municipal garage (the garages on Hulfish and Chambers are private and are not part of the upgrades) will be also upgraded the week of September 14, officials said. People will still be able to park there while equipment is being installed. Parking will be free for a few days while the work is being done.
Current municipal garage rates:
Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.:
Under 30 minutes – Free
30 to 60 minutes – $1.25
2nd hour – $1.25
3rd hour – $1.25
4th hour – $1.25
5th and 6th hours – $1.50
7th and subsequent hours – $2.00
24 hours $23.00
Monday to Sunday 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Each Hour or any portion – .25