The city’s governing body granted precursory approval to eight loading zones in the downtown business district on Tuesday evening to assist businesses that have been going without loading zones since late last year.
“This is going to help traffic tremendously because right now there are no loading zones and we have the commercial trucks doing deliveries by double parking,” said Alex Mendez, councilman at-large.
The loading zones will stretch four blocks from Broadway to Smith Street. Each block will have two loading zones, one on each side of the street, to accommodate businesses on both sides of the roadway.
Majority of the loading zones are in the corners allowing trucks to easily maneuver in and out without impeding traffic. Others are intentionally placed in mid-block where corners would have caused congestion. Some loading zones will also serve as relief lanes when motorists are making left turns at certain intersections to prevent traffic backup by allowing drivers to pass on the right side.
Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, said he expects increased pedestrian and traffic safety, due to the loading zones.
Mendez has been pushing for the loading zones since early March; however, he was unable to push them through the council until both the Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Special Improvement District began to lobby for the loading zones. He faced stiff opposition from William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman.
McKoy did not favor the loading zones Mendez presented because they were posted at every corner of the city’s main business corridor. Last week, the city’s traffic engineer and president of the chamber Jamie Dykes presented modified loading zones which garnered McKoy’s support.
“The change was necessitated by the parking that’s now on Main Street,” said William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, referring to parking meters that were installed few weeks before Christmas last year.
“Business has been waiting for this,” said Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, 2nd Ward councilman,
The Paterson Parking Authority installed meters along Main Street at the behest of mayor Jose “Joey” Torres. Businesses owners welcomed the parking meters, for it allowed customers, who often buy low-priced items, to inexpensively park and patronize their shops.
The loading zones will be active Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a 30-minute time restriction for loading and unloading. “During the weekend that area is going to be open for the community to use,” said Mendez.
The council will grant final approval to the eight loading zones during its next regular meeting.