Under pressure from business owners and residents, the city council on Tuesday night scrapped a plan that would have required motorists in major thoroughfares to feed parking meters until 7 p.m. and expanded meters to several new streets.
The loudest opposition came from downtown Paterson business owners via the Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce and Stoney Road section residents. The chamber opposed expanding enforcement by an hour when it came up for initial consideration. The proposal sought to force motorists to feed the meters until 7 p.m. – at present motorists do not have to insert quarters into the meters after 6 p.m.
Stoney Road residents opposed expansion of parking meters to McBride Avenue which as a small number of businesses. The proposal sought to place meters on McBride Avenue between Glover and Carlisle Avenues.
“This will drive out what little business we have left out,” said Anthony DeFranco, owner of De Franco’s Lock and Safe Company on McBride Avenue. “This will choke us.”
“They are going to come more into the side streets,” said resident Tony Fitzpatrick. “We live on dead end streets and there’s the river. They are going to come into our streets that are already jammed and people will lose any parking they have.”
Concepcion Ambert, whose home is located on the stretch of McBride Avenue, where the Paterson Parking Authority proposed to install the meters, said this will force him to feed the meters on Saturday.
“They should not be installing meters on McBride Avenue,” said Ambert. Ambert is not alone in opposing the meter expansion to McBride Avenue. 167 of his neighbors opposed the meter expansion through a petition that was submitted to the city.
Council president William McKoy told the Stoney Road residents the petition will be forwarded to the Paterson Parking Authority. The council president said the enforcement hour expansion will be permanently removed from the proposal.
McKoy said residential areas will also be eliminated in any future proposals that the parking authority presents to the council. He and his colleagues adamantly opposed installing meters on residential streets.
The council allowed the expansion and extra hour of enforcement plan die on the council’s floor. The parking authority is likely to revise its expansion plan and re-present it to the city council at a future date.
The rejected plan would have also resulted in more meters on Park Avenue, Market Street, Slater Street, Paterson Street, Veterans Place, Jackson Avenue, and Hine Street, according to city records.
“I don’t want a meter in front of my house,” said Debra Underwood, who lives on Keen Street.