Ridgewood Parking Meters 'Designed in Hell'?

Would you like to see a new payment system replace the parking meters? Comment with your thoughts.

It's no secret many of Ridgewood's shoppers and commuters detest the parking meters in town. But did you know the meters in the lots were "designed in hell"?

According to an angry commuter who wrote to The Record's Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski, "no one" carries around 24 quarters anymore for the 12 hour period. Plus, on rainy days the glass face of the meter fogs so you can't read the time left, he angrily said. "It's an abomination," the Ho-Ho-Kus man said of the meters purportedly "designed in hell."

The train station lot has a bill changer and you can also pay with cash at the Chestnut Street lot. (If it happens to work that day and if there's an open spot – that is.)

There are other options like using $1 coins at the meters (buffalo nickels still don't work, sadly) or shelling out the $650 per year on the UP3 parking pass (only valid at the parking lots, not on-street spots).

Still, those responses aren't likely to satisfy a lot of peeved people.

How about some other options?

Montclair, which also has a well-documented parking issue, allows residents to pay for spots using their cell phone.

There's a 25-cent convenience fee attached for using the Parkmobile ap, which works on Blackberry, Android and iPhones. Basically, you download the ap, create a username and add a credit card. From your cell phone you can set the amount of time, receive alerts when the time is up and also pay for more time remotely.

The village could also consider installing more of the parking meter machines like the one at the Chestnut Street lot.

The village council hasn't really had much in the way of discussions on the meters – though they talk quite a bit about parking and parking garages – but lets throw it out to the residents anyway. 

Do you like the meters as they are? Would you prefer to see something different for method of payment? If so, what would you like to see?

Comment below with your ideas.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Mikka H October 02, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Here's an idea.....let's work it like most retail friendly town's..... FREE PARKING......is that so hard to understand?
Ridgewood Mom October 02, 2012 at 12:16 PM
A person can park anywhere in Ridgewood for not more than a couple of quarters. That really isn't a meaningful cost deterrent. What the meters do, that is positive, is make it better possible to find parking, as individual cars can not hog spaces for excessive periods of time. Complaints about not being able to find a space in Ridgewood, at all, don't move me. I've just never had any problem. And I park there all the time. Been doing it for years. To my experience, it is much easier to find a space in Ridgewood, that is closer to the specific business that one wants to visit, then it is at any of the local malls. It is not any easier in any other nearby town that has a sizable downtown. And it is way easier to get in and out of Ridgewood then it is the city.
jp1 October 02, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Never have a problem parking in town day or night.
Jim Finn October 02, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Leave things alone, they're fine
Melvin Freedenberg October 02, 2012 at 01:16 PM
There are two major complaints about the parking meters and I think I can address both. With regard to long term parking, you are driving a car and do not have to have rolls of quarters in your pants pocket or purse. So, once a week, you can go to the bank and get hundreds, if not thousands of quarters that you can put in your car to feed the meter. With regard to fogging in the meter, when you get into your car on a high humidity morning and the temperature has dropped, you get fog on your windshield. No way to avoid it unless you want to keep your car running all night. A metallic and plastic parking meter is going to fog up unless you think we should run heating wires to every parking meter. To say that the meters were designed in hell is a bit overboard. Parking meters are not your biggest problem. On the other hand, parking meters give the users "It's the Village against us," mentality. Then, people want to know where the Village greed will stop. I have seen parking meters in places where an automobile's right of way is impeded. Removal of one or two meters would be appropriate to make driving safer but the Village looks upon parking meters with a "we'll show them" attitude. With merchants, they are wondering how many patrons passed up their stores because a buyer couldn't get a parking spot. Their life and blood is dependent on parking with meters as meters will prevent extended parking and that would result in the CBD being really dead. Taps.
Ridgewooder October 02, 2012 at 01:34 PM
There is nothing wrong with the parking meters. Parking availability, yes. Meters, no.
Craig Hueneke October 02, 2012 at 01:34 PM
maureen October 02, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Get rid of the hundreds of thousands dollar deficit Parking Authority and give FREE PARKING . Westwood , Maywood , -and malls do not charge you to shop and spend money ! It's a win - win . Why is this so difficult to accomplish ??
Just Watching October 02, 2012 at 09:51 PM
The parking authority only runs a deficit because over the years it has been treated as a cash cow and now all of Ridgewood's departments get a piece of the action. They have all come to depend on that money for their budgets. No matter how much the parking meters increase, there will ALWAYS be a deficit as long as the funds get diverted to the general fund. Also amazing that the ticket income goes directly to the general fund and the parking authority never lays a hand on this income. So even the Court and our new Judge benefit from the parking authority. Yes, it's a win - win just as it is.
Boyd A. Loving October 03, 2012 at 12:09 AM
How long has it been since you were in Westwood? Parking meters have been in place there for many years.
Anne LaGrange Loving October 03, 2012 at 12:34 AM
In Poquoson Virginia there are meters, but all the money goes to charity. Now THERE is an idea worth considering for Ridgewood! I took a photo when I was down there this summer. I will try to attach it to this posting. Maybe Boyd A. Loving can show me how to do this.
Jason D. October 03, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Meters are fine. The whole system around the meters is ridiculous. Try living in downtown Ridgewood. Either shell out $850 to park your car (that includes overnight pass) or start hoarding quarters like its your job.
Ridgewood Mom October 03, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Totally free parking in Ridgewood would very quickly fill up, in the early morning, with commuters parking their cars for the day to take the train to work. In such a case, there would be nowhere for anyone to park so as to utilize the shops. A centralized parking garage, whether free or not, would not add desired convenience because it would mean having to walk from a centralized location to a particular business that could be just as far away as the nearest metered spot. Chances are much better of getting a spot close to a particular business, on average, when there is a steady stream of spots becoming available from cars pulling out when their meters expire. So say you want to have brunch at the Country Pancake House, which gets packed, and you are ticked off because you could only find a spot around the corner from the Ridgewood Coffee Company by one of the churches there. Poor thing. That's almost like a one and a half minute walk. But then imagine having to walk from a horrendous concrete eye sore by the train station somewhere. Not any better really. I understand when people complain about paying the muni-meters in Manhattan. But again, the current cost of the meters is nominal. Its like a quarter for a half an hour, which is well less then the cost of a tenth of a gallon of gasoline. There are also places where you can park for free if you look around.
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