Will 101 Kearny Ave. be used for overnight parking?


The fate of a municipal parking lot located in the heart of Kearny’s main business district hangs in the balance.

A posting on the town website notes: “The Town of Kearny has not yet determined if the 101 Kearny Ave. parking lot is available for overnight parking by permit in 2018 for residents.”

In the meantime, it says, permit applications for the right to park overnight [for an annual fee of $125] there are still being accepted “and if [the lot] is available, we will notify you. If it is not, we will indicate if any alternatives are available.”

At their meeting last week, members of the town governing body learned that lot, which sits on the west side of Kearny Ave. near the Dukes St. intersection, has become something of a hot spot in recent weeks.

Resident Maria Alvez, who holds a permit to park overnight at that site, said she’s had a tough time getting access to her reserved space at night because another driver – not a registered permit holder – has parked there.

“Sometimes I’m sitting there [in her car] 45 minutes to an hour,” Alvez said, until the car’s owner appears to move the vehicle.

On other nights, Alvez said, she’ll drive to her residence and “double-park” there for a while because, “there’s no place to park [on the street] as it is.”

Weekends in particular are tough, she said, because customers of two nearby restaurants on opposite sides of Kearny Ave. tend to use the lot to park and some reportedly stay well beyond the time when overnight permit parking takes effect.

And other drivers, according to Alvez, park illegally in yellow prohibited curbside zones, impeding egress at an adjacent firehouse.

Alvez acknowledged that, periodically, she has seen non-permit cars “ticketed and towed” for parking illegally in the lot but she said that hasn’t been a sufficient deterrent for some offenders.

Mayor Alberto Santos said there is “no bidding going on” for 101 Kearny.

He said the town has been approached by representatives of the two restaurants – O Calamares and Cooper’s Block Pub & Eatery – about the parking situation.

He said they’ve asked the town to consider “metering the lot” so that their patrons would fill the meter during the evening so they can relax and enjoy their meal instead of having to rush and move their car and re-park elsewhere.

One possibility the town may explore, Santos said, is allocating half the lot for meters while reserving the other half for overnight permit parking by residents.

Another possibility, he said, to provide an alternate lot for resident parking.

The lot is currently designed to accommodate up to 24 spaces for overnight permit holders, said Town Clerk Pat Carpenter.

It was formerly occupied by Satriale’s Pork Store – where “The Sopranos” TV episodes were filmed – and the store was torn down to make way for a luxury condo development that was never built.

Kearny acquired the property in October 2013 for $700,000, according to town records, and the Kearny UEZ paid for the paving and striping of the lot to serve as a municipal parking facility.

The town made that investment with the intent of helping support a “thriving Kearny Ave.” retail presence and to “create overnight parking” for residents, the mayor said.

The question now facing the town, Santos said, is “how do we accommodate both the interests of our local businesses and our residents? That’s the debate we’re going to have during our next couple of [council] meetings.”


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