The city instituted a residential permit parking system for two blocks of the Eastside section after much delay late last year to address scarcity of parking that resulted from the opening of a busy nightclub.
Residents have said the city posted notices in early December on East 38th and East 39th Streets to urge residents to obtain permits for their vehicles. Since then, the residential parking permit has been in full swing, said officials.
However, the roll out has garnered opposition from some East 39th Street residents, who say they are uninterested in residential permit only parking. Samoya Bailey who lives on that street said she and her neighbors have collected 60 plus signatures opposing the permit only parking.
Bailey worried her neighbors may be ticketed and their vehicles towed. “Right now they are doing warnings,” she said at a council meeting late last month.
Council president William McKoy, who represents the 3rd Ward where the two streets are located, said the city is not enforcing the towing piece in the ordinance.
“It was shortsighted that difference was not recognized,” said McKoy. The difference residents pointed out is that East 38th Street has been having parking problems due to the opening of the renovated Bonfire nightclub. However, Bailey said East 39th Street has not had such problems. She also mentioned visitors’ passes. “We never addressed those guest passes,” she told the council.
The city’s ordinance includes a 48-hour permit for visitors. It’s not clear whether the city has figured out a way issues those permits to residents.
McKoy said residents do not want to go through the hurdle of obtaining passes every time they have visitors. If visitors wish to park on East 38th Street between Market and 21st Avenue and East 39th Street between Market Street and Vreeland Avenue from Friday 5 p.m. to Saturday 8 a.m. and Saturday 5 p.m. to Monday 8 a.m. they will have to obtain a permit or be subject to a ticket.
Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, who proposed the permit parking idea to preserve parking space for neighborhood residents, has said the council may have to modify the ordinance to remove East 39th Street.
Morris said the residents who are saying they do not want residential permit parking will be complaining about lack of parking as patrons from the nightclub invade their block when the other block is off limits. He said the misunderstanding over visitors parking may have stemmed from a poor communication plan in the part of the city.
Residents have said the city put up notice a day before to inform them to gather for a meeting to obtain their permits.
The city is using the two streets to test run the residential permit parking system before deploy it throughout parking space starved city.
“I’m definitely happy to see it’s off the ground,” said Morris.