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Overnight Parking Regulations May be Scrapped

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are considering scrapping overnight parking regulations in the borough.

The hours it takes to enforce a ban on overnight parking might not be worth the effort, officials said recently. Current regulations require cars to be off most borough streets from 2 to 5 a.m. Residents who don’t have off-street parking or have too many vehicles to fit into driveways must apply for a paid permit for up to two vehicles per household.

All residents can call a county-run phone system to request overnight-street parking for themselves or guests seven nights a month. Police Chief John Banning said last week that officers working overnight must call the phone system and write down each request after 2 a.m., a task that usually takes the better part of an hour.

Once the information is recorded, officers then have about two hours to patrol the 2.5-square miles of Haddonfield to determine who is legally parked on the street and issue tickets to whoever is not.

The borough has issued 144 parking permits this year. It would lose up to $17,000 in revenue from tickets and permits yearly if the regulations were repealed. Haddonfield only receives $6.50 out of the $18 parking fine. The remainder is distributed to state-mandated funds, such as for body-armor replacement and autism. It collected $8,400 from permit fees.

Commissioner Ed Borden, one of three borough commissioners, oversees the police department as the director of public safety. He presented the issues of overnight parking last week to begin a public discussion of whether to keep current rules in place or to scrap them.

“The issues around overnight parking are thee single largest area of friction between our police and citizens,” Borden said. “There’s a constant series of people who are unhappy about tickets or can’t get permits to park overnight. The amount of time devoted to enforcement and issues related to overnight parking is very substantial.”

Borden said more time could be devoted to patrolling the borough if officers weren’t tied up with overnight-parking enforcement.

Commissioner Tish Colombi, the mayor, said she was not in favor of scraping overnight-parking restrictions.

“I would suggest you drive through Audubon, or one of the towns that allows parking all the time, and just the look of it is very different than what we see on the street here,” she said.

Colombi also said not having cars on the street could help police spot vehicles of individuals who may be committing a crime. Chief John Banning said police were able to arrest someone like that about 10 years ago, but that many recent burglaries in Haddonfield were being committed during the day. He said commercial burglaries often happen at night.

Seven people, including a fourth-grader completing a school assignment and her mother, attended the commissioner’s meeting Thursday during this discussion. Most who spoke were in favor of getting rid of overnight-parking regulations.

“I live on Lee Avenue, which is probably one of the smallest streets in Haddonfield,” said Art Bermudez, a resident. “Most of the houses have one-car driveways. Those of us who have families have two cars. I’m concerned that because of a look, we are getting penalized for it.”

Michelle Claffey, a resident of Windsor Avenue, said she sees both sides of the issue.

“I like having my street clear of cars at night,” she said. “But I don’t feel like ticket enforcement is universal throughout town. I see neighbors who park on my street all the time and they don’t get tickets. I can see both sides of the issue.”

Debate on what to do about overnight parking will continue at the next commissioners meeting on April 24, officials said.

 

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Jeff H April 11, 2012 at 10:10 PM
EACH OFFICER HAS A LAPTOP IN THEIR VEHICLE. YOU COULD COME UP WITH A SIMPLE ELECTRONIC SOLUTION TO THIS. INSTEAD WE JUST SCRAP THE ORDINANCE. THAT DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE A CREATIVE WAY TO SOLVE THE ISSUE! CAN WE THINK CREATIVELY FOR A CHANGE???
Maryann Campling April 12, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Hi Muppet Man....I'm with you on this one. If parking is your main concern about a community, there are plenty of "house farms" in Voorhees, Marlton, Williamstown,etc. that will allow all of the parking spaces one could ever need, I live on Lee Avenue, driveways accommodate one car. For years I've paid to rent a garage for my second car. Big deal!
Katy April 16, 2012 at 11:14 PM
I am not opposed to the ban as long as they figure out a better way to allow those with a need to park on street to obtain a permit. I rent an apartment with no off-street parking, and while I would love to purchase a house with a driveway, that is in no way financially possible for me. Every year I pay $100 for a permit to park, and every year I feel that I am being penalized for not being a wealthy Haddonfield citizen. I am happy to contribute to the town I love, but I feel that the current procedures make the less wealthy among us feel unwelcome, which is unfortunate. Haddonfield is more diverse than people think - I believe that is a good thing - and I would like the town to embrace that and decide upon a more fair procedure.
Etheljean Deal April 17, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Some of you seem to be under the impression that the regulations are waived for those of us without driveways. They are not waived. Since the parking permits went into effect, I've had to pay thousands for the "privilege" of parking in front of my own home. And it's not a matter of "choosing" to live here; I'm a long-time resident, and had no problem calling in each night to get my car cleared. But I do resent paying to park on the street. I feel that if a house has no driveway and cannot support one, parking should be granted to the household, particularly when, as in my case, the drivers are physically disabled. I have no idea where this hyperbole of cars on blocks and boat trailers is coming from. If you cannot see the injustice of forcing people to either pay for overnight parking or consider an illogical or unreasonable alternative, shame on you.
Shana Marshall May 02, 2012 at 06:32 PM
We live on the first block of Centre (between Kings Court and Lincoln Ave) where there are about 19 homes without driveways. Our property includes a narrow brick path on the side of our house and a small yard behind our house. We don’t have a driveway and there is no room to add a driveway. We hesitated to buy a house without a driveway, but after talking to the homeowner and the borough we learned we could park on Centre all day and could purchase permits allowing us to park on Centre overnight. Buying our house was the best decision we’ve ever made. We love our house, our street, our neighbors, our community…our town. The only time not having a driveway is a problem is when commuters (PATCO riders or downtown/school employees) use Centre as an all-day parking lot instead of paying to park in the borough lots or the PATCO lot. When Centre St residents without driveways return home we frequently have to pay to park in the borough lot because there is no room on Centre. The same thing happens when we have visitors, babysitters, dog walkers, cleaning services, contractors, etc. We have been working with our neighbors and the borough to solve this problem. It’s an inconvenience, but not the end of the world! We would love to have restricted parking or “resident parking only”. If that can’t happen, we will continue living the wonderful life we have made in our wonderful town…knowing we chose to buy a house without a driveway.

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