Exactly what parking ‘problem’ are we looking to solve?

Exactly what parking ‘problem’ are we looking to solve?

My input regarding the parking problem in Red Bank begins from a substantially different point of view than that of our professional politicians. Before committing millions of my neighbors’ and my dollars to a parking solution, I want to know there is a parking problems. So far, all I have read and heard is gossip and hearsay.

As someone who lives, works and socializes in town, I have noticed some significant "realities." First there is, without question, a Broad Street parking problem. Ditto Monmouth and White and Front. But my observations suggest this is very localized as to place and time.

Most evenings, every weekend (except for street fairs and fireworks) and even most daytime business hours, I see large numbers of empty parking spaces. I cannot help but wonder exactly who decided we have a significant parking problem.

So, here are some serious questions to answer, preferably with facts: are the destinations in town important enough for travelers to park upwards to five to six blocks away and walk? These same people seem to reach the parks for the fireworks display by the thousands. Desire works wonders.

For whom is there a parking problem? Retail merchants? Government? Nonretail business interests? Residents? Commuters? Outsiders? I live in a home with no driveway and yet I have no parking problem. Is the group with the alleged need big enough to warrant strapping a whole town for another $10-$11 million?

Considering the current economic climate and our current tax burden, is this the highest priority item demanding Red Bankers’ money? Limited funds and low salaries for trash pickup workers had the downtown restaurant areas smelling like Bourbon Street in the summer heat. The litter all over town looks worse than a New York subway station. Too many of our roads are becoming Midas owners’ best friends. And how dependable is the infrastructure of the town?

Remember The Emperor’s New Clothes? Might parking be Red Bank’s new suit of clothes? Propaganda works because repeating anything, even the most obvious lie, often enough will give it the imprimatur of fact. I have heard about Red Bank’s parking problem since I moved here 11 years ago. As one of the people who will be paying the bill for the solution, are you convinced beyond any doubt there is a problem?

Eugene H. Goellner

Red Bank