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No Park and Ride at Township Parks

Township police can now ticket those who park vehicles at township parks and then leave.

Following some reported complaints of people parking at township parks and then heading off somewhere else, taking spaces from people who wish to attend games or just use the recreational facilities, the Township Committee has taken steps to stop those parks from being used as an informal park and ride.

Deputy Mayor Carolyn Gaziano said she doesn't know whether the township is yet enforcing the law, passed this month by Township Committee.

But the township is trying to be pro-active and letting people know about an issue that apparently caused a handful of people to complain, Gaziano said.

"Unless authorized by the Township, no person shall park a vehicle at any township park or open space property...unless utilizing the park or open space property for its intended purpose," said an ordinance passed by the Township Committee in mid-December.

Anyone who parks at a township recreational facility and then leaves — including Pleasant Valley Park, Southard Park, Harry Dunham Park, the Dead River Trailhead off Acken Road and more — risks a ticket, according to the new ordinance.

Officials were in agreement that at this time there should be no parking and riding off from township parks and recreational facilities. However, Township Committeeman John Malay noted that the wording leaves it open if the township wishes to allow a park and ride at local parks at this time.

"I think a park and ride is of no benefit to the town," said Township Committeeman John Carpenter. "In my mind, it's a magnet for people from out of town to use it and go somewhere."

But township resident Todd Edelstein said police have enough to enforce.

benadette December 24, 2012 at 02:43 PM
If people are parking in other lots that means that there are not enough spaces in the commuting parking lots, therefore the township officials should be receptive to designating other lots as overflow lots. The fact that the elected officials are being punitive is very distressing and shows that these elected officials are not working for the people who elected them.
Greg Toombs December 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
How will this be enforced? Will the police know who has left the park and who has stayed? Will they search the entire park and ask for IDs and vehicle registrations to match with license plates? Will police cruise the park and randomly issue tickets, or will they wait for a complaint from someone who can't find a parking space? If one has parked a car to go for a long walk or to watch a game on the far side of the park, will they return to find their car ticketed and then have to go to court and somehow prove they were at the park the whole time? Will the police perform a registration database search so as to ticket only non-residents? What about people from out of town who are attending their child's games? A "handful of complaints" brought this about? Really?
Todd Edelstein December 24, 2012 at 11:32 PM
@Greg Toombs, They are good questions & I hit on a few of them, but knowing that the public only gets 5 minutes to comment on an ordinance that the township committee has already agreed on behind closed doors prior to coming up for vote, would've been futile. The committee wouldn't/couldn't provide how many complaints they received or which location received any complaints. I pointed out that the PD is busy with other things and don't enforce the parking regulations that are already on the books. Which means it might be along time before this ordinance is actually used and the person who received the summons will be pissed for that inconsistent enforcement. Don't believe me, let the PD go enforce the 2 hr parking limit on South Finley and on Henry Streets all day long next week, we'll see how angry people will be, even though the streets are posted. Also for a town that likes to promote "Green", it seems out of step about car pooling. Some car poolers go directly to another's home, but many car poolers traveling down a main corridor pick up their passengers at a common area close to that travel corridor. A committeeman said, "I think a park and ride is of no benefit to the town, in my mind, it's a magnet for people from out of town to use it and go somewhere." A little selfish since being green is to help the entire community not just yours.

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