We are residents of the Princeton-Murray neighborhood, which is bordered by Nassau Street, Harrison Street, Prospect Avenue, and Princeton University. Princeton Avenue and Murray Place are thoroughfare streets in our neighborhood. We have been vocal in opposing the Permit Parking Task Force’s plan. However, we share this town with our fellow neighbors in the Witherspoon-Jackson and Tree Street neighborhoods and with the many businesses that make this town vibrant. Their concerns about parking are just as important as ours.
Many of us attended the Janu. 11 Council meeting, wherein opponents to the parking permit plan were asked to provide an alternative solution. We now propose the following two-phased plan, which provides a working solution for everyone. Phase I can be implemented immediately at a low cost and with minimal intrusion. Afterward, should unfulfilled parking need still exist, then Phase 2 will provide for a fully vetted plan.
(1) Issue one free, 24-hour residential permit upon request to residents with limited parking in the WSJ and Tree Street neighborhoods, with the option to purchase an additional permit. Residents can park anywhere in the neighborhood. Remaining spots will continue to be used as they are today, which is parking by anyone, including employees.
(2) Provide parking for employees. Permits will be issued for the Maclean and Westminster lots, and underutilized meters, totaling 417 spots.
(3) Promote greater awareness of free parking on university lots after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
(4) Continue the policy for overnight guest parking by contacting the police.
(5) Allow commercial service and construction vehicles to park permit-free on residential streets to serve residents.
(6) Obtain empirical data on actual permit use by residents and employees.
Phase I does NOT include allowing employee permit parking in the Princeton-Murray neighborhood. This is because the number of permits that will actually be requested by both residents and businesses is unknown. Indeed, at the Jan. 11 meeting, the task force recognized they could be overestimating the amount of parking needed by employees. Given this unknown, items (1)-(3), providing at least 417 more spots than currently available, could fulfill all parking needs of both residents and employees.
Should Phase I not fulfill parking needs of employees, then develop transparently, with professional assistance, a data-based, thoroughly vetted parking plan as part of a master plan, that is applied sustainably and equitably across neighborhoods, including:
(1) Maximizing the use of underutilized privately-owned, off-street parking before implementing residential street parking in additional neighborhoods.
(2) Analyzing data from Phase I and the following factors: traffic flow, free shuttles to other lots, proper pricing, the legality of employee permits for only locally-owned businesses, and impact of development. On this last point, we are concerned about the university’s construction of a 1,500 space parking structure and the new School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, both adjacent to our neighborhood and impacting current traffic.
By implementing this plan to take everyone’s concerns into account, we believe all of us who live and work in this town will benefit.
Leon and Kirsten Lum, Princeton Avenue
Mr. Mark and Dr. Diane Friedman, Princeton Avenue
Mark Alexandridis, Princeton Avenue
Esther Rose and Adam Finkelstein, Aiken Avenue
Tony Bennett and Elizabeth Smith, Princeton Avenue
Jae Lee and Lauren Myers, Prospect Avenue
Clifford Zink, Aiken Avenue
Catherine Hegedus, Murray Place
Karen and Peter Aurup, Princeton Avenue
David Kinsey and Susan Hand, Aiken Avenue
Jennifer Geoghan & Robert Finnegan, Aiken Avenue
Leigh and Olivier Brigaud, Aiken Avenue