Motorists beware! The town has extended its “Front-End in First” policy to the municipal lot at 285 Kearny Ave., just across from the Mandee Shops.
On May 26, the town governing body initiated the parking strategy by adopting an ordinance mandating the procedure for “all vehicles at all times” at the lot at 101 Kearny Ave., adjacent to the United Irish building.
Last Wednesday, the town passed a resolution implementing the same protocol for parking permit holders at the Mandee lot on Kearny Ave.
So, anybody who parks at 101 Kearny Ave. and all permit parkers at 285 Kearny Ave. cannot back into a parking spot.
Offenders are liable to get a ticket and, if found guilty of that offense, will be subject to a $50 fine.
Although the town is not the owner of the lot at 285 Kearny Ave. – it has a lease agreement with the owners of the Mandee property – it “has the right to permit use of the property for parking by town residents,” according to Town Attorney Gregory Castano Sr.
The resolution adopted by the mayor and Town Council at last Wednesday’s meeting states:
• “All permits granted by the Town to residents for parking at 285 Kearny Ave. shall be subject to the requirement that the vehicles be parked ‘frontend in first’ [and]
• “The Police Department and/or Department of Public Works shall install and maintain appropriate signage notifying users of the requirement [and]
• “Violators may be towed, and shall be subject to revocation of the parking permit by the Town.”
Of the 46 spots available to permit holders at this Mandee lot, 42 have been sold, municipal records show. There are also two spots available for disabled motorists.
Mayor Alberto Santos said the town implemented the policy initially on the recommendation of Second Ward Councilman Jonathan Giordano after the lawmaker got a ticket for backing into a spot at a municipal lot Ridgefield.
Kearny took the action after a vehicle that was parked, back-end in first, into a spot at the then-newly paved and upgraded lot at 101 Kearny Ave. damaged fencing there.
Asked how much it will cost to fix, Santos referred The Observer to the town’s consulting engineering firm, Neglia Engineering, where Neglia’s Joe Vuich reported that figure was still being discussed with the contractor who improved the lot to see if the repair could be included as part of the job or as a credit against the overall contract price.
As for the damaged fencing at 285 Kearny Ave., the town’s business administrator was reportedly in talks with Mandee about that issue.
Since the ordinance’s passage, police have been issuing warnings to violators at 101 Kearny but not tickets. “We’re rolling it in gradually for now,” said one police supervisor.
But apparently parkers there are not getting the message, according to First Ward Councilman Albino Cardoso. “I see a lot of cars not complying,” he said.
Vuich said that the town has installed two signs at the lot, warning drivers not to back into spots but Cardoso said, “We need a third sign against the fence on the west side of the lot because that area is more visible [to drivers entering].”
The mayor agreed and directed Vuich to put up the additional sign.
Asked how officers would know if drivers had backed into double-sided parking spots in the Mandee lot, Vuich said that to be properly parked, “the heads of the cars need to face each other” in those spots.
Does the town plan to widen application of its “front-end in first” policy to its other municipal parking lots: near the playground on Hoyt St., behind the police sub-station on Belgrove Drive, behind the Provident Bank on Maple St., the other Mandee lot on Chestnut St. and the Town Hall lot (evening hours)? “We have no plans at this time,” the mayor said.