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Passaic, N.J. Could End Free Sunday Parking, A Plan Even Its Mayor Thinks Is A Bad One

PASSAIC, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Grab your spare change because one municipality in New Jersey may soon add more parking meters and Sunday hours to try and raise more revenue.

But the plan is dividing the town. Even the mayor is against it, reports CBS 2's Derricke Dennis.

WCBS 880's Sean Adams On The Story


It's shaping up as a potential pain at the parking meter in Passaic. The city considering more meters, extending the hours, even charging on Sundays -- a first in North Jersey.

"There's not enough parking here!" nursing student Alvin Gavina told CBS 2's Dennis on Monday.

"It's an inconvenience, more cost, and parking is limited already," added student Jane Morba.

Morba is studying sign language at Passaic County Community College, where her normally free street parking could see meters planted at the curb.

And one school administrator said that could affect enrollment.

"Because if they starting to pay for parking they're not gonna have money to pay for tuition," Rick Perdew said.

The meter changes were recommended by the city Parking Authority Director Ted Evans, who refused to step out of his office and comment unless CBS 2 turned off its cameras.

The goal is to try and plug a $130,000 parking revenue shortfall. However, a letter from Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco opposes the plan, saying "I do not feel that extending the parking meter hours would be in line with the direction of my administration."

"We really don't have money for meters anyway. Plus they give out parking tickets like crazy, so why install meters?" Gavina said.

"I tell them not to do it. I mean, we can't have that man. We're a poor city, man. I mean, there's no money in Passaic.  There's no money here. Why you trying to make money where there's not?" one man told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams on Monday.

City officials stressed these are just ideas at this point, adding more meters, extending the hours, charging on Sundays would all have to be approved by the City Council, and get public input.

And for many drivers, the consensus is the less meters, the better.

Passaic's mayor plans to introduce an alternative plan to change city meter rates from 25 cents for 20 minutes, to 25 cents for 15 minutes.

Council members will be meeting on Feb. 23 to discuss not only the recommendations put forth by the Passaic Parking Authority, but to decide if there are any other options to bring money into the city.

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