It’s taken entirely too long for Kearny to finally address town’s parking debacle

Last week’s edition of The Observer included a story about the Town of Kearny exploring options for a possible residential parking permit system. This, of course, is prompted by the continued nightmare known as basic parking in most of the town’s four wards.

While it’s an issue in the Third Ward, it’s a major issue in the First, Second and Fourth wards, where there are fewer garages and driveways for multi-family homes and apartment buildings.

We applaud the governing body for taking these necessary steps. A residential parking permit system may just be the answer — and with the town looking into options, there is hope something can be done to, eventually, alleviate this issue that has plagued Kearny for so long.

However, we can’t help but wonder — why has it so long?

When Alberto Santos, mayor of Kearny, first ran for said office in 1999, one of the biggest issues then was residential parking. A year earlier, when he walked the streets of the Second Ward as a candidate for a council seat, he had to know residents there — especially on the hilly Devon Terrace and Tappan and Hoyt streets — were in dire need of parking relief.

We remember it being an issue then.

Why hasn’t he?

Now 20 years, the issue’s finally being addressed. But only after two decades of hearing “yeah we know there’s a problem — we’ll get to it eventually.”

Several factors have contributed to the parking problem in Kearny. First, the town’s population has ballooned. And as Councilwoman Susan McCurrie noted, everyone seems to have a car now, regardless of age.

This is not really a brand-new phenomenon.

The First and Second wards have always had multi-family dwellings that don’t offer off-street parking.

This is not a new phenomenon.

Some newer, more-than-2-family homes have been built around town — and still don’t offer off-street parking. So somehow, these new constructions were built with little to no consideration for the parking problems they’d ultimately cause.

In one Fourth Ward neighborhood, a recently renovated, one-family home, a rental, brought with it seven vehicles. Of those seven vehicles, not one has a New Jersey license plate.

So while we applaud the town’s effort to address its parking problem, we can’t help but wonder — how could it ever have taken 20 years to finally see action?

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