BLOOMFIELD, NJ — A proposed ordinance to make Broad Street from Bay to Watchung avenues a permit-parking zone will not move forward at this time, according to Township Administrator Matthew Watkins. Watkins had introduced the proposal at the Monday, May 8, township conference meeting and it was passed. Ordinarily the proposed ordinance would be given a first reading at the next regular council session. But in a May 11 email, Watkins said Mayor Michael Venezia requested further study on the issue.
The Bloomfield Police Department had conducted a survey based on a citizen’s complaint that out-of-town commuters were parking on Broad Street and then hopping a bus for work.
Bloomfield Police Department Lt. Gary Peters, in a telephone interview last week, said over a four-day period, from early morning to afternoon, it was determined that 70 percent of the cars parked on Broad Street did not belong to either residents of Bloomfield or, if they were owned by Bloomfield residents, the owner lived in another part of town. On Friday, March 31, Peters said of 58 vehicles checked for ownership, 51 of the owners were not from the immediate area. Of these 51, 35 were owned by people who did not live in Bloomfield while 16 belonged to people who lived in Bloomfield but not near the area.
“We determined that residents didn’t have parking because it was consumed by nonresidents,” he said.
The ordinance, Peters said, would allow residents to park for any amount of time provided they had a resident parking permit. The permit would be free. However, nonresidents would be permitted to park for only two hours. This would be enforced Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Venezia said Broad Street, from Bay to Watchung, would be the largest single area for permit parking in Bloomfield if the ordinance were approved. He thought that before that happens, a survey of Broad Street residents may have to be conducted.
“Maybe the permit parking would just be in a small area near the MediCenter,” he said Friday, May 12, at the opening of the Berkeley Avenue bridge.
The MediCenter is located at 557 Broad St., next door to the garden center at Bay Avenue. “We’ll ask the police for a further study and we’ll do one,” he said. “We’ll make an assessment of who takes the bus. It may not be that big of an issue. We may not even need a solution.”According to Township Engineer Paul Lasek, the distance from Bay Avenue to Watchung Avenue, along Broad Street, is 1.2 miles.