A new group of Ocean Grove residents and business owners have introduced a new proposed program to address Ocean Grove’s seemingly intractable parking problems. The independent community group is called the Better Parking Alliance.
Their goal is to “pinpoint and implement a parking solution that balances the needs of Ocean Grove’s diverse constituencies,” said the group’s president, Andy Levine, an eight year resident of Ocean Grove.
The group will present its proposal to the Neptune Township Committee at a meeting Mon., Dec. 9.
With help from information that the BPA obtained from conducting two online surveys with Ocean Grove residents and meetings with key community groups, it has introduced a solution to help with Ocean Grove’s parking problems. The BPA’s data-driven approach attracted over 1,300 survey responses including Ocean Grove full-time and seasonal home owners, Camp Meeting Association tenters, renters, business owners, realtors, and many more. The first survey had 622 respondents, and the second one had 698.
The group wants the Neptune Township Committee to consider an ordinance for an evening/overnight resident parking permit program for part of Ocean Grove. Levine laid out the main recommendations of the BPA’s proposed 2020 pilot program:
• Northside-only from, but not including, Main Avenue to the Asbury Park border.
• 4 months from May 15 through September 15, 2020.
• 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.overnight, seven days per week.
• 1 free parking permit per residential unit in the pilot area with the ability to purchase additional season permits.
• Ability for residents to purchase evening, overnight, or weekly passes for their guests and short-term renters.
• Accommodation of parking for visitors attending evening events sponsored by the Camp Meeting Association and other organizations.
Members of the BPA Committee will introduce the group’s proposed program at a Township Committee workshop at 6 p.m. Mon., Dec. 9 with commentary after the committee’s regular business, during the public portion of the meeting.
“We focused on a solution that is fast and could be implemented in time for the summer 2020 season, that would be effective in significantly reducing the number of vehicles in the community, and that is cost-neutral,” Levine said. “This program aims for better parking in Ocean Grove by:
He said he believes the plan would increase he probability of available parking for residents in evening hours and significantly reduce the nightly influx of people seeking to avoid Asbury Park parking fees.
“We all benefit from AP’s resurgence. However, Ocean Grove should not be a free parking lot for AP visitors and workers,” he said.
The parking alliance also believes the plan would encourage Ocean Grove residents and their visitors to bring fewer vehicles to town in the summer season.
“There were dozens of comments in survey responses and on social media along the line of, ‘Asbury Park’s resurgence is terrific for everyone including Ocean Grove residents. We all love the restaurant and entertainment options it offers. But we don’t understand why Ocean Grove should continue to be a free parking lot for Asbury Park visitors and workers,” Levine said.
The group would like the committee to adopt this pilot program for the summer of 2020.