Springfield Committee member Marc Krauss believes that by making minor changes to Springfield’s municipal parking lots, the township can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars.
At the Township Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 24, Krauss outlined his proposal for the township’s downtown municipal parking lots. There are three lots. Lot 1, by the Library and the DMV, is the most visible and already outfitted with a parking meter that accepts coins. The other two are off of Morris Ave., and do not have meters. Lot 2 is on the north side of Morris Avenue, opposite Caldwell Place and Lot No. 3 is on the northwest corner of the intersection of Church Mall.
Krauss wants to move the meter from the library lot into lot 2, and use money from the Township’s confiscated property fund to install a meter that accepts dollar bills and credit cards into the library lot. He believes that people parking in lot 1 will not pay for parking if they don’t have quarters, and will instead risk a ticket instead of getting change. Making it easier for motorists to pay will mean they will pay more often. Lot 3 would be reserved parking for residents with parking permits, most of whom use NJ Transit buses located at the corner of Morris Ave and Mountain Ave.
In a “white paper” fact sheet on Township parking, Krauss said that currently, Lot 1 brings in $55,000 a year. Lots 2 and 3, which do not have meters, bring in nothing.
Lot 1 has 100 spaces, 70 of which are metered. The meters charge from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If the spots were filled 12 hours a day and charging $1 an hour, Krauss said, the lot could potentially bring in $218,400 a year.
Krauss believes Lot 2, which has 65 spaces and no meters, is under-utilized. He presented a proposal that would change the direction markers on Center Street to direct cars into Lot 2. Krauss proposes designating 45 spaces for Parking Permit holders and leaving 20 spaces open for pay by the hour. The lot also includes four handicap spaces that are not chargeable.
"Municipal Lot 1, across from the MVC, can potentially generate $250,000 a year or more if managed correctly,” Krauss. “Last year it only generated roughly $55,000. This is an untapped revenue source for Springfield."
The plan also entails increases to the amount paid for parking permits. Under the ordinance, fees to go from $50 per quarter for residents to $150, and from $5 to $100 per quarter for Seniors. It’s a significant jump that Krauss said is fair.
"Currently, the seniors receive a 90 percent discount off of the Springfield Resident rate of $50 per quarter,” Krauss said in an email. “The new rate will be $150 per quarter, which is on par with neighboring townships, and $100 per quarter for seniors. This is still a 33 percent discount off the regular price for seniors."
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