Ridgewood Halts Parking Meter Enforcement After Blowback

Residents were angered after Patch reported the village ticketed citizens who hadn't paid the meters Thursday. In response, the village is promising not to ticket on Friday or Saturday.

The Parking Enforcement Authority was out in Ridgewood Thursday issuing tickets to storm-weary citizens who didn't pay the meters. Ultimately, the village decided to pull the plug on the plan and will not be ticketing for the rest of the week.

Ridgewood-Glen Rock Patch reported Thursday afternoon that the village had told parking enforcement that they would be out ticketing on Thursday. Most actually paid the meters but several tickets were issued, village sources and eyewitnesses told Patch.

Parking enforcement officers have been reassigned to help with the cleanup effort, multiple sources told Patch.

"In light of the challenges faced by residents, the Village Manager has decided not to enforce meter violations this week," Mayor Paul Aronsohn told Patch Thursday night. "Providing some relief is the right thing to do. As such, I can assure you that no parking tickets for meter violations will be issued on Friday or Saturday. We want to help people during this difficult moment, not to create more problems for them."

With the village being among the few downtowns completely unscathed by the devastating effects of Sandy, thousands have descended on the CBD from all corners of Bergen and Passaic County.

Angered residents took to Facebook to slam the village's initial decision.

"I've always said they are awful for asking us to pay to park and shop or eat, considering all the businesses that have gone under," Jennifer Box Knight wrote. "Shame on them, even more now. Business owners should be furious and make it known."

Said Glen Rock resident Alison Shapiro Miller: "This angers me so much! People have died in the storm and this is what they do? Go help someone instead. Proud to be a Glen Rocker!"

USAUSA November 02, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Paul Aronsohn please tell us the town managers name and why is this person not quoted?
VKC November 02, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Nice! Ridgewood-Glen Rock Patch should be part of the Justice League! :)
Deborah Daughtry November 02, 2012 at 05:38 AM
I understand the need for revenue to offset the added demand brought by so much traffic in town not just police needed for disaster relief but now there are officers policing the gas stations with so many out of towners here looking for food, gas and charging stations.
maureen November 02, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Thank you , Patch and Mayor Aronsohn ! It's about time a little perspective was given to those without power or heat . @USA1,Village Manager is Ken Gabbert who most definitely allowed these idiots to start ticketing.Parking Authority blokes should be helping the relief effort , not aggravating stressed out taxpayers.
Ben Dover November 02, 2012 at 08:20 AM
Ridgewood lifer- you can continue to put those quarters in the meters since you thought it wasn't a big deal. Jackass!
Dennis Martinez November 02, 2012 at 12:38 PM
If the gasoline situation doesn't get straightened out soon, there won't be any cars downtown to park.
LizS November 02, 2012 at 12:41 PM
glad someone did something about that - when i read the first article i was just sickened at thought they would do that...
kerry November 02, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Maureen. Please dont call the people following Ken Gabberts orders idiots. are they supposed to quit their jobs in protest? So nice that they were redirected to help with clean up. Im sure they are happy to do it
Michael November 02, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Still, it's easier to ticket people who park in town to SPEND MONEY than for drivers on Ridgewood, Franklin, Broad, Grove and Linwood who are speeding with their cellphones up to their ears. Selective justice.
kerry November 02, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Parking enforcement people cant give out speeding tickets. They are not police officers. Its a common misperception.
jp1 November 02, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Mr. Mayor i base my claim on my e-mail to you on what you can read on the patch . Just plain stupidity by the village.
Ridgewood lifer November 02, 2012 at 01:48 PM
At least there's some people who get it! Kerry has the right idea. Jackass sheesh some internet mouth you got.
J.D. Luke November 02, 2012 at 01:58 PM
So will those who received tickets on Thursday remain on the hook for the payments?
Harlan Consider November 02, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I really don't see why drivers expect to have meters unenforced because of the storm. I know we all hate meters and getting tickets in general, but really? I can see where there might be non-enforcement of street parking at night on the regular residential streets following the storm, but that's all. It's nothing to do with being heartless. I know many of us have a story to tell of damage and power outages, but what does this have to do with whether you should feed the meter as you would normally have to?
RHS Student November 02, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Ken Gabbert...
Ridgewood lifer November 02, 2012 at 02:57 PM
^^^^^^^ THIS
USAUSA November 02, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I do not believe the issue is that people expected unenforcement, but with so much going on it is sadly assumed. So when I parked at a meter Thursday I hadn't heard yes or no so I fed it. But make an announcement that meters will be enforced and there would not be this much blow back. But when you send a parking person out and see that person ticketing people who forgot or made an assumption during this crazy time that is wrong. Nyc suspened meters for a day or two and they announce it daily what is suspened what is not, Ridgewood should have done the same.
kerry November 02, 2012 at 03:00 PM
In my opinion, it would have been a nice gesture and show of support for the community to suspend parking meter violations. It also would have been a smart move from our village manager. I'm glad he reconsidered.
JV November 02, 2012 at 05:40 PM
It has to do with being welcoming and compassionate to the many, many people coming into town from surrounding areas that still have no power. These people want some hot food and a warm place to help them escape or forget their severe difficulties. The CBD has been packed. Doesn't it make sense to show that we welcome them, want them to feel good about being here, and want them to return because being here was a good thing? A negative experience means that these people will never want to return, and will happily complain about their unpleasant experience here. They would likely be spending vastly more money in our merchants' businesses, which would seem preferable to the bad taste of paying parking tickets and choosing not to come back. Now is the time for people to be supportive for a few days, not to step up parking enforcement because there are so many more potential tickets to be written. It's not about the money, it's about the meaning.
AS November 02, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Where is the reporting on the power situation? Half of Ridgewood has no electricity and Patch gives us continuous updates on parking??? I don't get it. What's next, a story about lost dogs?
Concerned Ridgewood Resident November 02, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Im wondering the same thing - I have not seen one utility truck in my area. HoHoKus is completely in the dark. Where is everyone!!?? I wish my only problem was putting a quarter in a meter for parking.
Concerned Ridgewood Resident November 02, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Mr. Mayor I think you and village manager should be a little more concerned with the residents in Ridgewood that still have no power? Pretty sure that might be a bigger priority then ticketing cars for not putting a quarter in the meter. Village of Ridgewood always looking for a way to make a buck. Love it when the cops wait by the High School to ticket the kids after school. The amount of taxes we pay in the village and yet we seem to be "so hard up" for money. Shame on you - Mr. Mayor get outside at night when its cold and dark and most people still have no electricity and see how unimportant meters in the parking seem. Oh sorry I bet you still have power?
James Kleimann November 02, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Here's the update, "AS": Most people don't have power. PSE&G has given no clear timetable for restoration. According to the utility, power should be restored between now and Friday, Nov. 9. A few roads have gotten some restoration (parts of Linwood are back up, a resident on Ridge Road told me the lights came back on), but trucks aren't exactly flowing in. Officials told me power is still out for more than 50 percent of the town. "There is no way to know exactly what how many residents are without power," Village OEM Coordinator Jeremy Kleiman told Patch Thursday night. "PSE&G does not give us that info. Based on VERY rough estimates from what our folks in the field have seen, we figure 60-70% are still out. Some have come back on over the past few days. Couldn't give you precise numbers." There's no withholding of information, "AS" – there is little new information to report on the power restoration. It's the same story everywhere. Frustrated people want answers. PSE&G isn't giving answers, so I can't give answers. I don't have magical powers to compel the utility to fix your power. Wish I did. If you think you'll get better information elsewhere (you won't), please move on. Anyway, I need to update a story about lost dogs. Make sure to feed the parking meter.
Harlan Consider November 02, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Parking meters have more to do with actually regulating parking than collecting revenue. If the meters are not enforced, what happens is no parking becomes available as parking spots become full, with no incentive to move on in a specified time. We are talking a quarter or two. Spare me the shivering and starving stuff. That's your imagination at work. By having parking control, it actually makes the CBD more accessible to many.
News Man November 02, 2012 at 08:02 PM
North End of Ridgewood, near Ho-Ho-Kus border is still without power. ???? Does anyone have information as to the status of that problem? Please ID the source of that infor, thanks.
Catherine Donnelly November 02, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Dear James, I have finally found a friend with power and computer and can now ask for your help. Could someone--you--get to the powers that be--and tell them no more leaves in the streets. It is so dangerous driving in Rwd, MP, GR now. It doesn't matter that the policy is 7 days before pick-up. NJ is still in a state of emergency and common sense needs to prevail over whatever policy exists for normal times. Like most of the Village, I am cold--and getting colder every day. It has made me a bit on edge and everyone I talk to feels the same way. So to have completely selfish residents clogging up the streets when the streets are already a disaster is truly disgusting. So what if your leaves stay an extra week on your lawns. Emergency vehicles are going to have an increasingly hard time coming up S. Hill, going down part of Heights and Glen and Van Dien and N. Pleasant and on and on. Please, please could we have some Adults start taking the reins here. And also James, could you publish daily updates on the power situation. It is surreal to be so out of touch. I don't have enough gas to ride around listening to the radio, and it seldom if ever addresses our area. We really need a central meeting and information area in this Village. Thanks,


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