Parking Restrictions Could Be Next Step in Taxi Battle
Ordinance introduced to restrict parking
An ordinance was introduced by the Brick Township council Tuesday night that would restrict parking near the site of New Mantoloking Taxi company.
The ordinance, introduced on first reading, would restrict parking to residents with permit placards on Manchester Avenue, Monmouth Avenue and Sterling Avenue. The measure would have to be subject to a public hearing and approved by the council a second time before being put into place.
All three of the affected streets are situated near the New Mantoloking Taxi company, which neighbors and some township officials accuse of over-growing its lot on Mantoloking Road. Neighbors have complained about taxi drivers clogging up their narrow streets with their personal vehicles while they are out driving company cars, as well as engines starting and people milling about at all hours of the night.
Local residents lined up again to tell council members how taxi drivers have blocked their mailboxes and made their tight streets even tighter, potentially preventing emergency vehicles from being able to get through.
"From my point of view, that's a safety issue," said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis, referencing the emergency vehicle issue.
Council President John Ducey said on one occasion, public works employees had to come back to the neighborhood a second time after there were so many cars parked on local streets they couldn't pick up garbage.
The taxi company had been using a residential lot it owns to allow for extra parking, though they illegally paved over the lot and last week, were denied permission by the township Board of Adjustment to continue using the lot for commercial purposes.
Some residents have resorted to putting up yellow caution tape to dissuade drivers from parking on their streets.
Council members did have some concerns over the introduced parking plan, however.
"It seems like this is just going to be another burden on the residents, even though it looks like it may work," said Councilwoman Susan Lydecker, voicing concerns over residents having issues when they have guests stay overnight, or if they forget to display the placard.
"I don't think this is going to solve anything," said Councilman Jim Fozman. "What we really have to do is make the taxicabs park on their own property."
Councilman Domenick Brando was the most outspoken opponent of the parking restrictions, saying New Mantoloking had outgrown its lot and a more permanent solution should be devised.
"This business is creating a hardship for the residents there," he said.
Brando and Fozman both voted against the introduction of the ordinance.
The ordinance is set to come up for a second reading at the next council meeting, scheduled for Aug. 7.