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Neighbors Express Concern on Commuter Parking Study

The Township Committee is seeking proposals for a feasibility study for a parking structure.

The Township Committee Tuesday night approved a request for proposals for a feasibility study for a commuter parking structure, but neighbors attended to express concern and opposition.

The committee discussed the need for a study on how they could build a parking structure in the downtown train commuter lots, specifically Lot 7 on Glen Avenue, during its last meeting.

Mayor Sandra Haimoff said requesting for proposals to do the study doesn't mean the committee is committed to doing anything, including the study.

"We're doing our due diligence," she said.

Jim Suell, Township Committee member heading the parking study, said they need to get information about how much a plan could cost in order to make a decision.

"This is what we need to do before we spend any money," he said.

But some neighbors in the Glen Avenue area don't support township officials considering building a parking structure in their neighborhood.

Frank Meyer, of Cape Court, said he was troubled the committee was moving forward with seeking the study without talking to neighbors and in a time when many people are on vacation.

The neighbors presented a plan a year ago that showed 600 surface parking spaces could be added at the two train stations without needing the addition of a parking structure.

The addition of a parking structure would also deteriorate the quality of life to the Glen Avenue neighbors, Meyer said. The Township Committee has fought to maintain the quality of life in other areas of town, and it should do the same for the Glen Avenue residents, he said.

"You should reject this RFP," he said. "You should stop wasting money on studies."

Tom McDermott, deputy mayor, said the study of commuter parking and the potential of a parking structure won't be a short process.

"There will be a lot of analysis," he said.

Several committee members said there would be opportunity throughout the process for the neighbors to get information and give their input.

Brett Biebelberg September 02, 2009 at 06:12 PM
Is "parking structure" a fancy way of saying parking deck? Or are there other kinds of "structures?"
Jennifer Connic September 02, 2009 at 06:34 PM
I would think a "structure" could include a deck or be as drastic as a garage. I assume the study will address it.

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