Glen Ridge resident and veteran journalist Nancy Sharkey decided to do a little local reporting this summer when she tried to buy a parking space in the town’s Hillside commuter lot, and was turned down because all the permits had already been sold. She noticed that plenty of spaces in the lot were empty much of the time, so she started counting. According to her count, the lot is one-third empty during peak commuter days of Tuesday and Wednesday, and three-quarters empty on Mondays and Fridays.
In a letter to Mayor Carl Bergmanson, which Sharkey shared with Barista, she wrote:
I’m not asking you to overbook like Southwest Airlines — just to acknowledge that on any given day, not all the 100 or so permits will be issued.
Although Sharkey was able to buy a permit for the nearby Clark Street lot, she’s worried about safety in that location.
Clark St. is a desolate, unpaved, poorly lighted parkin glot behind a liquor store that draws some rough-looking customers.
In a letter to Sharkey, Bergmanson said he will refer her complaint to the council’s public safety committee. He expressed concern that Sharkey’s count, which took place over the summer, might not reflect the busiest commuting season, and added that the Clark Street lot has just received new lighting.