Montclair business owners shared how they were caught unprepared for the announcement that the Midtown Parking Lot on Glenridge Avenue behind the businesses would be closing on January 4.

According to Montclair Township Communications Director Katya Wowk, the Township’s Parking Utility staff have been speaking with affected business about the Midtown Lot project for quite some time.

Wowk says the businesses were made aware well in advance that this was coming. According to Wowk, project construction was originally supposed to begin in October and but was pushed to November. As November approached, the Utility decided that closing the lot around the holidays would adversely affect surrounding businesses and renegotiated the project start time with the developers so that construction may commence after the holidays. The BID was notified, says Wowk, so that its constituents wouldn’t have to worry about project work taking place during the holiday season.

However, Parking Utility Superintendent Manny Germano has been visiting every affected business Thursday to speak to owners in person.

On Wednesday, parking enforcement officers placed notices on the windshields of all vehicles parked in the Midtown Lot – in both the permit only spots and those on private property behind the businesses.

Issues with regard to how garbage and recycling will be collected are still being determined.

According to Wowk, the Parking Utility reached out to all the collection companies with dumpsters behind area businesses. Those who have returned the calls to the Parking Utility have offered alternatives for affected businesses. If a business does not want a dumpster in front of their establishment, they can request to be switched to pick-up service and keep the garbage cans in back of their properties. The exact logistics of where garbage cans would be stored would be up to individual businesses, says Wowk.

Businesses that are served by township collection will keep the same schedule, but materials put out for recycling will be picked up at the front of the business instead of the back.

Many Bloomfield Avenue Metered Spaces to Become Loading Zone

Wowk said that handicap parking will be made available on Bloomfield Avenue. Apart from a few metered parking spots that will remain unchanged and will be enforced, most of the spaces along the affected businesses on Bloomfield Avenue will be turned into a loading zone. People with disabilities will be able to temporarily park in the loading zone when they need to do business in the area.

Business deliveries and pick-ups will take place in the loading zone area, says Wowk, which should provide businesses sufficient space for deliveries and customer pick-up and drop-off service.

Business-owned private spots in the rear of the area’s buildings will no longer be available for parking. Employees of these businesses will receive passes for free parking at the Crescent Deck and one or two businesses will receive special passes to park in the North Fullerton Deck.

The Parking Utility is waiting to hear back from the developer for word on the certificate of occupancy for the new parking deck which abuts the Wellmont Theater. Once issued, additional parking will be made available in that deck, Wowk says.

3 replies on “Township of Montclair Doing Outreach To Businesses Affected by Midtown Lot Closure”

  1. What a clusterfuck this town has become. We moved 17 months ago feeling we’d gotten the best of Montclair, watching as it turned into a cheap imitation of Hoboken. Parking had already become nearly impossible since 2016 or so. This just makes an intolerable situation worse, if that is even possible. Happy new year!!!

  2. Yes, accurate…”Many Bloomfield Avenue Metered Spaces to Become Loading Zone” as an interim plan until the 2021 permanent plan replaces it. No on-street-parking and most of the loading permanently goes away by year’s end. Just travel lanes will be left. And, of course, the cars & trucks will share the road with The Others….as before.

    I just don’t get it. This Bloomfield Avenue plan has been around for 3 years. Further, the project was only approved with extraordinary mitigating parking & circulation requirements spelled out in the Planning Board’s 2017 resolution. These mitigation clauses were a direct reposes to previous Township projects that lost containment.

    We told everyone what was going to happen and not happen and when. People had years of notice. I’m not saying the resolution was a good mitigation plan – because it wasn’t. But, everyone seemed very happy at the time when it was approved. Stayed happy when it was memorialized. Still happy when ground was broken and a few hiccups should have sent people back to read the plan. We were wrong not to tweet, or instagram it. Anyway, it will work itself out. Everyone knows that parking demand curve for Montclair Center. And Q1 is the lowest of the year. The decks will open by Q2, so all good. Just one tacky-tack consideration – §327-22:d & f.

  3. §327-22 says anyone can park, for free, in loading (& unloading) zones from 6-7am and from 6pm-2am, unless posted otherwise. Sundays and holidays are free from 6am-2am. Also, the Council has to pass an ordinance to create loading zones…or an emergency order, e.g. rent increases.

    I would refrain from freely sharing up some inside knowledge of municipal parking, but special circumstances must carry the day.

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