MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Another New Jersey town is replacing some of its street parking for cars with mini parks for pedestrians.
But as CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports, not everyone’s on board.
Mike Ellis had to double-park on Glendridge Avenue in Montclair while he picked up his take-out Friday night.
“The town is so populated right now, it’s a problem with parking spaces,” he told Bauman.
There’s about to be even less parking downtown once four spots are converted into “parklets” at the end of the month.
“You can have coffee there, you can bring friends there,” said Israel Cronk, of the Montclair Business Improvement District.
The Montclair Business Improvement District is organizing the privately sponsored mini-parks with Bike & Walk Montclair.
“We are envisioning the streets as places more than just for cars,” said John Sullivan, of Bike & Walk Montclair.
But Ellis thinks, “it’s obviously a bad idea.”
Parklets are a growing trend in New Jersey. They’re in Summit, Newark installed three in May and Millburn had them last year, but those got mixed reviews and are already gone, Bauman reported.
“People are no longer coming into our town, our businesses have been hurting,” Dianne Eglow, of the Millburn Township Committee, told CBS2’s Reena Roy at the time.
Montclair residents and business owners aren’t sure what to expect.
“Yeah, it’s a good thing for the community,” said business owner Nicole Silva.
“It’s a good concept, in theory, but where’s the parking? There’s not enough parking around here,” resident Karen Bryce said.
“It takes up parking spaces, it slows traffic. It’s just kind of like turning this place into a tourist dump,” said resident Eric Eklund.
The parklet decks will be about 3 feet tall and surrounded by reflective tape. But some residents worry they could make the downtown area more dangerous.
“You have the fire department and people coming for the trains,” Bryce said. “It’s too busy of a thoroughfare.”
“It actually calms traffic, because when you see something big in a street, it actually slows people down,” said Cronk.
The parklets will be in Montclair through October, but sponsors hope to eventually make them permanent fixtures.