New Traffic Study Could Curb Ship Bottom Parking Woes

Jun 07, 2017

The Ship Bottom Borough Council is asking the county engineering department to reassess its long-ago decision that prevents parking along the east and west sides of Central Avenue between Third and Sixth streets.

“Some businesses have opened in that area with off-street parking, but it’s not enough,” Mayor William Huelsenbeck said, adding the zone in question is also a residential district. “The county owns most of Central Avenue, and there is no parking on either side of it.”

He said the borough has seen some parking violations in the vicinity over the years and didn’t want to make the area a ticket trap, so it painted the sidewalk yellow near the fire hydrant, a telltale sign that parking isn’t allowed there. That, however, doesn’t always prevent people from parking there, the mayor acknowledged.

“We want them (the county) to conduct a new traffic study,” Huelsenbeck said. “We don’t know why they made the decision they did. We want them to open it up if it’s deemed safe.”

In a resolution unanimously approved by the council May 23, the public safety committee, in accord with Police Chief Paul Sharkey, recommended parking be allowed along the east and west side of Central Avenue between Third and Sixth streets.

“Parking is a premium in town,” Huelsenbeck said, adding there is no ground within the borough to convert into a parking lot that wouldn’t cost a great deal of money. “It (the cost) would be ridiculous for a parking lot.”

A few years ago, the council agreed to change the stop sign ordinance and now permits cars to be parked within 15 feet of a stop sign instead of the state-regulated 25 feet, he said. A law on the books allows the council to take that step if necessary, the mayor explained.

“We gained a parking spot on each street,” he said, adding that people who park where it’s clearly marked yellow are going to be ticketed.

— Gina G. Scala

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