Commissioners Discuss Patch Poll on Overnight Parking
A Patch survey helps pace parking discussion.
Borough commissioners on Monday continued to discuss the future of overnight parking regulations.
Commissioner Tish Colombi, the mayor, cited a survey on Haddonfield Patch to make her case for continuing the prohibition of cars parked on the street after 2 a.m.
“This poll says people by more than 2-to-1 don’t have an appetite for doing away with overnight parking,” Colombi said during a commissioner’s work session.
As of Monday, 244 votes had been cast on for the survey question: Do you think overnight-parking regulations in Haddofield should be scrapped? Seventy percent said “No,” while 29 percent said “Yes.” Votes can still be cast.
"I think they feel it is more safe because someone would recognize a car that is not supposed to be there," Colombi said. "I can tell you I know most of the cars on my street. I would notice if there is a strange car out there."
Commissioner Ed Borden had questions about the Patch survey and keeping current overnight parking regulations.
"I've lived on my street longer than you," he said. "So I drive down the street and see a car I don't recognize. Do I call that in? This is a continuous process of issues coming up that the police have to deal with, endless disputes of who is entitled to a permit and not."
The commissioners and the police have studied the issues surrounding overnight-parking regulations for several months. Borden, the director of public safety, who oversees the police department, has led the discussion on the challenges of enforcing overnight-parking regulations.
Some of the challenges include an antiquated county phone system that requires officers to call in to write down requests for overnight parking. Residents get seven request per household per month. Police officials say it often takes the better part of an hour to accurately record the information after 2 a.m. when cars without a permit must be off the street.
The amount of request per household have to be recorded by other department personnel. There are fewer officers working overnight than during the day. After recording night-parking request, officers usually have a little over two hours to write tickets before 5 a.m., when street parking is allowed again.
Commissioners discussed how to implement a different overnight system that might use voice recognition technology to record the information and relay it to a police officer without taking him or her off the street. They also discussed requiring the request be filed via the Internet.
Any new system would likely come with new costs, which might be a challenge with a shrinking municipal budget and rising tax rates. The commissioners agreed to continue a discussion on overnight parking at their next regular meeting on Tuesday, April, 24.
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