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Council Questions Proposed RHS Parking Shuffle

Students could be forced to leave Heermance Pl. so teachers can park closer to the school, but a series of questions must first be answered

Who is more deserving of a parking spot – students or teachers?

Ridgewood Superintendent of Schools Daniel Fishbein is proposing a plan whereby students that had parked in the spots on Heermance Place would be booted so that their teachers can park a bit closer to school. 

, Fishbein said there's a major crunch for parking at the lot on the hill for teachers. He believes adding 10 spots for teachers on the village-owned street would do the trick. Students currently park there on a first-come, first-serve basis, many waking up at 5:45 a.m. to nab a spot.

"This would authorize the issuance of permits for those twelve spaces from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday," said Village Manager Ken Gabbert Wednesday. The school board would handle the permits, according to the resolution.

Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser said it's not a unique request in Ridgewood.

"I think we have at least three or four sites around schools where we do have this type of permit parking on the municipal streets to assist the Board of Ed. This request is a continuation of an existing practice in the village code."

But many questions emerged Wednesday night at the council meeting from officials as well as residents.

  • How many student permits are issued? How many teachers and non-teaching staff park on the site? Has the staff increased over the years at the high school?
  • Why all the sudden is the number of spots at the lot insufficient?
  • Couldn't the board see if Heermance or First Presbyterian Church – where students also park – could be restriped or reworked to add 10 more spots?
  • Will the short-handed police department have to deal with enforcement?

Most notably, asked resident Boyd Loving, why should teachers' parking wishes supercede those of students?

"There are many traditions at Ridgewood High School – that is a tradition," Loving said to the council. "I'm sure you don't want to be the council that takes away that tradition. Think long and hard before you make a move to take free parking away from students at Heermance Place."

Officials said they'll seek to have those questions answered before moving forward in considering an amendment to the parking laws.

RdgwdGRock February 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM
"Think long and hard before you make a move to take free parking away from students" Geeez, the poor and weak HS students will have to walk a little bit more. What a crisis.
Boyd A. Loving February 06, 2012 at 02:40 PM
An engineering survey of existing parking lots at both RHS and the First Presbyterian Church should be completed to ensure that no more spaces can be squeezed in. Only after such a survey is undertaken should Council members consider making any changes to on street parking arrangements. And with respect to Mr. Rutishauser's comment regarding the "uniqueness" of this situation, the ONLY school location in the Village at which on street parking by permit only applies are selected streets near the Travell School.
RdgwdGRock February 06, 2012 at 02:46 PM
how much will the eng survey cost? I think someone with a basic understanding of math, common sense and a contractor's tape measure can figure out what can be or cannot be done at the parking lots. another needless expense is not required.
Boyd A. Loving February 06, 2012 at 03:01 PM
A salaried member of the Village's Engineering Department could handle such a task; big bucks do not need to be spent.
RdgwdGRock February 06, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Boyd - that would seem to make sense, but: 1) From my exp with the Eng Dept, they are there to inspect work-in-progress. 2) Not sure if they can go out and initiate eng surveys. 3) Even if they could, with the town hall cutbacks they are understaffed and prob could not do this in a timely manner. 4) And, there would be a "cost" since they would have to dedicate a day or more (do the survey plus write-up plus schematics). Therefore, what is the potential cost? How 'bout you and I go with our trusty tape-measures and do the job?
Concerned Ridgewood Dad February 06, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Boyd, I'm sorry, but the council has been wasting precious time and energy "thinking long and hard" about enough silly "issues" in Ridgewood. Example: Graydon getting an official historic designation... what, having the swimmin' hole named for Mr. Graydon wasn't enough? The council needs to "think long & hard" about pedestrian safety in the CBD already! Maybe if they thought "long and hard" enough, they could answer these puzzlers. -Why are cars allowed to park right up to crosswalks in the CBD? -What good does $147,000 brick stickers do when there is almost no permanent and prominent signage in town designed to make drivers aware of the law "Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalks"? -Why does the RPD have the manpower to write parking tickets but is understaffed for jaywalking and crosswalk stings? -Why are officers are allowed to play with their personal smartphones in their squad cars while on duty? The list could go on and on. When the council solves the Pedestrian issue in the CBD they can waste all the time they want thinking about spoiled HS students and their lack of parking spaces.
Boyd A. Loving February 06, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Just to clarify, the issue concerns a reported lack of parking for staff and faculty, not for "spoiled" HS students. The matter is being addressed by Village Council members at the specific request of BOE members. It was not initiated by the Council. I agree, Village Council members have more important issues to address at this point in time. Thank the BOE for tying them up with this.
RdgwdGRock February 06, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Concerned dad - great comments. why is there a police car parked opposite ridgewood coffee company (for what seems like many hours) with the engine running? but, at the same time, pedestrians are almost being run down a block or so away. wouldn't it be better for the police car to be patrolling the CBD for a greater presence??? here is the solution to the parking problem: re-allocate spots to the teachers as much is needed, and any left-over spots can be sold to the highest bidders. I would think that the students needing spots are prob from the west-side, and therefore their families can afford to pay whatever is the bid rate.
Matt February 07, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Sounds like a great project for an AP Physics class. Software assistance for under $2,000 - http://www.transoftsolutions.com/purchase/software/parkcad
Mary Smith February 07, 2012 at 01:46 PM
RHS has open spots every day in the teachers lot. Just leave things alone. Also just because a student lives on the Westside does not mean a student is interested in paying for parking. Also most employees pay for parking in areas where there is not a lot of parking available. There really is no reason why there can't be more street parking by the school. If it was so crowded then why is Jack Lorenz space still open.
Boyd A. Loving February 07, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Further investigation has revealed that an ordinance which established special on street permit parking provisions in the Travell School area expired on December 1, 1989. Thus, there is no on street permit parking anywhere in Ridgewood at this time.
jep1 February 07, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Let the teachers fend for themselves and leave the kids alone.

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