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Paid Parking Begins Today for DeForest Avenue Lots in Downtown Summit

Paid parking will be in effect from Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read on to learn how much parking will cost and how to pay for it.

If you’re planning to park in one of the DeForest Avenue lots in Downtown Summit today, be prepared to pay for it.

Beginning today, fees will be required in the DeForest Avenue lots Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the City of Summit’s website. However, parking will be free after 6 p.m., on Sundays, and on Parking Holidays.

“Ambassadors and parking staff will be on hand in each lot assisting all customers with the gates, entry and exit equipment and payment transactions,” according to the city’s website.

The decision to begin downtown paid parking was met with opposition from several residents and Councilman Pat Hurley last spring. , with Hurley casting the single dissenting vote.

At the same meeting, Council approved a $750,000 bond ordinance, 6 to 1, to allow for improvements to the lots and installation of the parking equipment.

While many residents are used to 2 free hours of parking in the lots, there will still be areas where residents can park for free for a maximum of 30 minutes, according to a May 2012 Patch article.

According to the city’s website, here are the DeForest Avenue parking lot fees from Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.:

Parking Time Up To: Price Per Hour (cumulative): 30 minutes Free 1 hour $1 2 hours $2 3 hours $3 4 hours $6 5 hours $8 6 hours $10 7 hours $12 7+ hours $20 Lost ticket $20

According to the city's website, there are three ways to pay for parking:

  1. Use cash in the form of $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills at one of the pay stations.
  2. Use a debit card or credit card. Pay stations will accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
  3. Pay by your smartphone. You can download the mobile application at www.parkmobile.com. For more information, click here.

Do you have any questions or comments? Call (908) 522-5100 or email parking@cityofsummit.org.

resident January 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Another reason to leave Summit..just wait until the pass full day kindergarten and the taxes become even more ridiculous...better enforcement of the existing parking would have been the answer. The machines are difficult to see for older people..I see people cussing the machines out all the time when they "decide" you are done before you actually are...really... this is going to help fill all the empty businesses in down town Summit?! Perhaps addressing THAT issue might help with the tax issue.
Concerned January 14, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Short Hills Mall free parking.
Gail January 14, 2013 at 01:30 PM
With all the changes that the Parking experts enforce, is it ever better for the residents? This is another example of a improvement which is to my detriment. By the way, what happened to the Free 15 minutes on the Express meters? Summit Parking quietly took away this benefit recently also. When I park at a meter that has 6 minutes or so on it, where is my free 15-minute allotment? Gone. I cannot get my full 15 minutes unless I wait for the meter to go back to zero. Thanks for nothing.
resident January 14, 2013 at 02:49 PM
BOYCOTT DOWNTOWN SUMMIT BUSINESS
Max January 14, 2013 at 02:57 PM
"Price Per Hour (cumulative)" ???? They can't really mean that! or can they? I'm sorry, but I just don't see what downtown Summit has that is attractive enough to support paid parking. "resident" might have the right idea, though I suspect a de facto boycott will occur without any formal organization.
resident January 14, 2013 at 03:04 PM
I needed to get 2 cards, bank, buy a present and I would usually go in town for those. Not going forward. I can go to many other places. Summit Council does NOT listen to its residents, particularly in terms of how it spends their money. Watch for the HUGE increase in your taxes as they slide the full day kindergarden through as well...
Robert Steelman January 14, 2013 at 03:24 PM
There are many good downtown businesses that depend on adequate parking properly managed. The property owners, merchants and the public should freely comment to City administration on their parking experience. I work downtown and regularly visit the shops. Summit has enjoyed a spectacular turnaround in filling vacant downtown retail spaces with exciting new businesses. The City is at normal levels of vacant space due to typical turnover. The change to paid use after 30 minutes in the DeForest parking lots is not popular. However, it is necessary for many reasons: Improving the lots, contributing revenue and ending the distortion caused by free lots in a user fee-based system. So let us address the operational parking flaws, if any, and support the exceptional businesses that invested in this City.
resident January 14, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Really the lots have been improved? They have made it even more difficult for the elderly and the handicapped--eg. impossible to navigate curbs getting out of the lots..alot of the problems with the problems concern workers at the business feeding the meters for themselves and clients in front of the businesses.. i have witnessed many discussions in this regard... many of the beauty establishments..eg Zoku etc.
Robert Steelman January 14, 2013 at 04:02 PM
The improved lots now have curb cuts to get to the alley in roughly the same places as before. The City took parking spaces and marked them for egress. They have marked the alley with a white line which I believe is meant for pedestrians. Elderly or not you should be able to navigate the lots. Parking enforcement is another issue. Is enforcement to manage parking resources or generate fees? Just last week I was pulling out of a 5 hr space when a parking enforcer yelled for me to stop so he could hand me a ticket since my meter had expired maybe 10 minutes ago. You see two enforcers were sitting in a parked city vehicle behind me when I got in my car to drive off. It was laughable. I paid the ticket.
Cynthia Bottita January 14, 2013 at 04:53 PM
So we have to pay to come in and shop at stores that are overpriced to begin with??!!! I like to support the small shops in town when I can afford it, but I will not be paying to shop or eat there. Short Hills Mall is around the corner and is free to park.
Andrew January 14, 2013 at 09:09 PM
So people pay to support the local economy? This is why I left this town years ago!! They just hired more cops also. Man Summit you guys have it all wrong like normal. New Jersey has it wrong period. Good luck!
Random Hero January 15, 2013 at 02:28 AM
All of you are so used to being fed on a silver spoon. Grow up and get used to it. Changes happen for a reason. I am on the lower end of the scale in this town and you don't see me complaining about it. Only thing I complain about is stuck up people like all of you.
Random Hero January 15, 2013 at 02:30 AM
What's laughable is that you still paid.
Random Hero January 15, 2013 at 02:31 AM
People were abusing it and never paying? You people are so closed minded.
Random Hero January 15, 2013 at 02:31 AM
What's laughable is that you still paid.
Max January 15, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Random Hero, you miss the point. The attractions of downtown Summit are what supports the pricing of parking. The more and the greater the attractions, the higher the justified price. People express their displeasure because, while we all enjoy what downtown Summit has to offer, we do not believe that the quantity and quality of those offerings are sufficient to justify charging for parking. Based on that belief, we no longer will be patronizing establishments in downtown Summit. Given the extraordinarily high rate of taxation in New Jersey (highest in the country -- do a bit of research and learn typical tax burdens in other states; I assure you that you will be surprised), we receive relatively little in return. Charging us to park in lots that we paid to build is seen by some as irresponsible and exploitative.
Max January 17, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Robert Steelman, what exactly is "distortion caused by free lots in a user fee-based system"? Thank you.
Robert Steelman January 17, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Max. You must be important since you speak for the “we”. I’m not a fan of group think, so I’ll speak for “me”. The so called free lots weren’t free. The Deforest lots of old generated parking tickets, many to unsuspecting visitors. That was bad. Downtown employees- imperceptible from visitors- enjoyed hundreds of hours of free parking a year. That was unfortunate. The lots were in horrible disrepair. That was embarrassing. So now you have a user paid system like street meters and other lots.That is fair. The rates are subject to examination. The downtown merchants are not the object of scorn. That would be heartless.
resident January 17, 2013 at 03:21 PM
If you violate the time frame in the old parking lots, then you should have gotten a ticket..that is fair. It was set up to prevent all the downtown employees from parking in the lots for hours at a time. What needed to be done was either enforce the parking by the town and through the merchants. Employees spoke openly in front of customers about feeding the meters, without any qualms or understanding that they were cutting their customer base.. More of the thought line of I am so important that I can not follow the rules that were set up for the good of everyone. The parking lots were fine in terms of repair..seriously I do not know why this town continues to waste money in the way it does. The tax load is horrific. If you want a user paid system fine. But as a user I can choose to go where it is easier, cheaper to park. As other people have said the boxes to pay are difficult to operate and cause lines. I am sure what is next down the pike from the council who so freely spends our money without thought is yanking the boxes because they are annoying and replacing them with different boxes. It is not heartless with regard to the boycott... the downtown merchants permitted their employees to violate the regulations, many of them the owners themselves(!) and allowed this system to go through. It is called consequences. I have not stopped nor shopped in Summit since the day this went into effect.
Robert Steelman January 17, 2013 at 03:53 PM
You and your friends are after the low hanging fruit. Why not step up and challenge the real issues. Taxes and fees are too high across the board. The Big Issues. Enormous chucks of tax exempt property without user or impact compensation. No real independent measure of effectiveness and productivity for City service providers. A community-wide, nasty habit, of killing reasonable reinvestment and redevelopment projects. And a land use approval and permitting process that is too expensive and too slow which makes minor improvements in small businesses nearly unaffordable. And of course the exaction from the county. So parking is what keeps you awake at night?
resident January 17, 2013 at 04:14 PM
You are right on many fronts..but I BELIEVE the article was about parking was it not? No need to be nasty. Civil discourse is practically non-existent in this part of the country..
Robert Steelman January 17, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Resident. Perhaps I buried the lead. The parking lots are tax exempt city owned property. It cost plenty to plow, sweep, monitor, repair and insure them. Aside from the ticket revenue which a significant part went to the Union county court system, Summit came up short.

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