What are the goals of this process?
Create positive, community-determined mobility enhancements to our neighborhood streets to benefit the community members and our visitors, including: sidewalk repair, bus shelters, parking solutions, etc.
- Improve our public infrastructure
Manage parking demand more effectively
Why is this process looking to add meters? Meters will hurt my business, discourage visitors, and reduce foot traffic.
Parking meters are used across the country as a means to free up spaces in high-
traffic commercial areas and encourage turnover that’s important for businesses. Some studies have shown that a single parking space on a commercial district like Butler Street brings in $20,000 in annual sales to local businesses. When there’s no charge for parking, it permits vehicles to park in these valuable spots all day and night. Our small businesses lose this potential revenue, and it only further exacerbates the struggle to find parking in the neighborhood. By adding parking meters, the goal is to set the lowest prices that will leave one or two parking spaces open on every block.
Furthermore, all the revenue collected will go right back into the community, funding improvements to our streetscape that are aimed at bolstering foot traffic and making our community a more attractive place to live, work, visit, shop, and dine.
Wouldn’t adding meters on Butler Street push visitors to park on residential streets?
This is why we are also asking for your input on adding new Residential Permit Parking (RPP) areas and/or amending existing RPP areas to shift enforcement into evening hours.
I think funds generated by new parking revenue in Lawrenceville should stay in Lawrenceville. No general “pot.”
We agree! The funds would be exclusively restricted to uses in Lawrenceville and the Lawrenceville border of Bloomfield. A specific trust fund would be set up for this purpose.
Who exactly will be making decisions regarding where these funds go?
Councilwoman Gross’s office is currently looking to clarify the legislation in this area. As is, our understanding is that the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure would determine the use of funds after advisement from Councilwoman Gross and the community but this can be clarified in the legislation.
Will the Residential permit parking make it difficult for workers to park?
We are ambivalent about any new RPP zones or changes to existing RPP zones in Lawrenceville and this is exactly why we’re asking for input. Understanding the impact to workers is critical to us as we determine whether or not to put forward any new RPP areas or RPP amendments to the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure for study.
How long will this process take to actualize?
The Mobility Enhancement District is currently an ordinance in committee at City Council and would just take a majority vote at Council to pass to create the fund. However, there will likely be additional process around the installation of parking meters.
Any additions or amendments to Residential Permit Parking areas, including Hybrid RPP areas, would be subject to a long process from the City that would minimally take 9-12 months. This process would include a parking study, recommendations from the Department of Mobility & Infrastructure based on the parking study, a Planning Commission hearing and recommendation, and a final vote at Council. See graphic below. In short, there will be a lot more opportunities for the community to weigh in before any substantial changes to RPP are implemented.
What is a Mobility Enhancement District?
The Mobility Enhancement District is an ordinance written by Councilwoman Deb Gross that aims to better manage parking demand along the commercial district in Lawrenceville, while funding much-needed mobility and infrastructure improvements to make Lawrenceville safer, more accessible, and easier to get around for all community members, while increasing foot traffic that our small business community depends on.
- Read the introduced legislation (read here) by Councilwoman Gross that is currently sitting in committee
- This would create a dedicated, locally controlled source of funds for mobility improvements in Lawrenceville, which would come from:
- New meters along Butler Street and Penn Avenue
- Nighttime enforcement of meters
- Dynamic pricing that would capture extra revenue when demand is at its peak
- Potential uses of the Mobility Enhancement District based off of Butler Street Design Guidelines Plan (est. 2019):
- Bus shelters
- Sidewalk repairs
- Bike infrastructure
- Traffic Calming
- Give us your feedback!
What are Residential Parking Permitted (RPP) Areas?
A program that gives residents of a designated area a better chance to park near their home. A permit costs $20 per vehicle, per year. People without the permit are allowed to park in the designated RPP areas for one hour before being subject to a ticket.
Key questions we want community input on:
– Is there demand for new RPP areas on residential blocks that are experiencing high parking demand and don’t currently require permits?
– Are changes necessary to hours of enforcement to better manage parking demand in the evening? (for example, would noon to midnight be better enforcement hours in RPP areas instead of 7 AM to 7 PM?)
– Is there interest in hybrid zones (an RPP area that would additionally allow for non-residents to pay for parking at a meter)?
What are some potential options for changes to Residential Permit Parking in Lawrenceville?
There are a variety of options and these are NOT the only ones. These options are just to
solicit feedback and see what you are in favor of or not in favor of. We want to hear your
Option A – Status Quo – Keep RPP how it currently is in Lawrenceville
Option B – Add RPP and Hybrid Zones
Option C – All RPP with Meters
How much money will the fund actually generate?
For comparison, a similar fund in the South Side that collected additional revenue from parking meters along E. Carson Street has generated over $1 million since 2017. We expect Lawrenceville’s fund to be a bit lower, and earlier projections had estimated in the $50-100K range annually.
What about creating more off-street parking options?
Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation have advocated for a district-wide parking garage that could serve many different types of users for years. However, the construction of new parking is extremely expensive and there hasn’t been much traction with these efforts. While the funds from the Mobility Enhancement District alone would be insufficient to finance a new parking garage, they could be used to more strategically utilize existing parking supply that’s underutilized. For example, there are large surface lots in several areas of Lawrenceville that sit empty exactly when parking demand is at its peak. Funds from the Mobility Enhancement District could be utilized to create more shared parking strategies or perhaps even offer a shuttle from these lots.