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New Options Aim To Relieve Asbury Park's Cramped Parking Situation

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - It's one of the hottest spots on the Jersey Shore, but parking is at a premium in Asbury Park.

Town officials are trying to create more parking spaces and other options.

Even on a rainy Tuesday, it's hard to find an open parking spot in the downtown area of Cookman Avenue. This often frustrates visitors and locals.

"It's horrendous," a visitor named Michelle told CBS2's Meg Baker.

"Parking on a busy weekend can be tough," said Cooper, who works in Asbury Park.

"On Sunday, I spent maybe 45 minutes driving around and ended up paying $30 for a lot," said Maria Lopez of Oakhurst.

Parking is at a premium in the New Jersey hot spot of Asbury Park. (Credit: CBS2)

Asbury Park's Director of Transportation Michael Manzella says help is on the way.

"We recognize the need to increased the parking supply here. The city just announced we're doing an RFP for a parking garage at city hall," Manzella said.

That's expected to be completed by 2021. The city promotes taking a train or bus. You can easily walk to the downtown area, or hop on one of the rideshare bikes to get to the beach and boardwalk, flag down a mini electric golf cart for a ride or hail down a pedicab, Baker reported.

Various new options to limit car trips will be available soon.

"We're working on bringing in an electric vehicle car share. So basically, an electric vehicle program where people can rent a car for hour or day or whatever they need instead of having their own car in the city," Manzella said.

Electric car share program concept. (Credit: Greenspot)

Asbury has plans to start a citywide valet program this summer: Drive up, hand over your keys, and text when you are ready to leave.

"Right now, we're finalizing a scooter share program. Electric scooters will be coming to Asbury Park. There's only in one other town that's done that - Hoboken - we would like to be the second," Manzella said.

Scooters should be ready to ride by July 4. Most people Baker spoke to were interested in the new options.

"Anything that makes it easier, more convenient and and little more affordable," said Lopez.

Parking will run you $2 an hour on summer weekends. The Asbury Parking app allows you to add time to your meter from anywhere, but that also keeps spots filled for longer. Parking drops to $1 an hour during the week, and as low as 25 cents during the winter.

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