LONGBRANCH: The Long Branch Council is considering making some changes to the paid parking regulations in one of the city's busiest summer destinations.
Long Branch Director of Public Safety Jason Roebuck said at the Feb. 23 Long Branch Council workshop meeting that there have been issues with the 2-hour parking limit in Pier Village since its creation in 2014.
Mayor Adam Schneider said he has received multiple complaints about the time limit and patrons not understanding the process in Pier Village.
All of the spaces in Pier Village will have a 2-hour parking time limit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a 4-hour time limit from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Parking currently costs $1 per hour on Monday-Thursday and $2 per hour on Friday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Motorists can pay using cash, a credit card or a mobile app.
Roebuck proposed getting rid of the time limit and raising the price to park. Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said the other option could also be increasing the time limit from 2 hours to 4 hours all day.
Roebuck said the police department would also like to be able to utilize license plate readers instead of having an officer on foot checking to see if each person paid to park.
After earlier questioning whether or not having the license plate readers would allow price changes in specific zones, Roebuck said it would be possible to just raise the price to park in Pier Village.
The council had differing opinions on what the best course of action would be.
"I'd prefer to set it at four hours rather than raise the rate," Councilwoman Joy Bastelli said.
Councilwoman Kathleen Billings said raising the rate in Pier Village would cause people going to the beach to park elsewhere and leave the lot open more to people who are looking to shop or eat.
The council did not make any decisions during the workshop meeting and will likely discuss the issue again at a future meeting.