It’s a problem that’s common everywhere along the Jersey Shore. Lack of parking. Worse when business owners, employees and tenants of apartments scarf up those limited number of spaces, leaving no parking for customers.
In Ventnor, the challenge has mutated as new meters and pricing have been rolled out. Coupled with more expensive parking, are allegations of lax enforcement of those meters. Some stores have no meters out front. This parking issue is most problematic during the off-season.
Unwritten rule #1: Parking spots on Ventnor Ave should be for customer parking only.
A few years back, business owners from Ventnor’s central business district held a meeting with City Hall to express concerns over parking.
Recently, the new Ventnor City admin substantially increased the price of parking at most meters. Some saw this as a business killer, while others saw this as a revenue driver for the City.
So, presumably to soften the blow of the meter price hike, enforcement was unofficially lax during the winter/off season. Well, that’s according to business owners who prefer to remain anonymous.
Lax enforcement of meters during the winter sounds good huh? Nope. This alleged lack of enforcement opened the door for business owners & employees to suck up all the patron parking.
With more businesses opening in Ventnor, parking issues could get worse.
One Ventnor business shared their thoughts on social media: Business owners, employees and tenants need to find somewhere else to park. Customers can’t spend… if they can’t park. There’s a downside to meter enforcement. 25 cents per 8 minutes is a burden to many local customers. Some come in for a bowl of soup or some eggs and coffee. Average check is about $6. They can’t pay $2 to park. This adds 33% to their tab. Some bypass our Ventnor eatery and head to Margate where they park for free. The meter price-hike lowered our business by over 30%. It pretty much put ‘Pop A Pizza’ out of business. When meters are enforced, it’s the customers who suffer. We’ve witnessed a summer parking enforcement officer wait for meters to expire just so they could write a ticket. That’s (not) good customer relations.
Ventnor merchants say parking-rule changes bad for business.
Business owner: Lax meter enforcement during the winter should change. We only have one spot in front of our store. It’s usually taken by local residents. That leaves no where for customers to park. It’s a huge problem. We force our employees to park on side streets.
Back in AUG of 2013, changes were made to parking. Many merchants claimed they weren’t given any prior notification. “It was never discussed, we never heard about it,” said one business operator.
Indeed, parking changes were discussed at multiple City Council meetings. But most missed it. Most residents don’t attend meetings due to work and family responsibilities. And, Ventnor stills lags behind other towns in providing online recordings of commissioner meetings. Thus, the ordinance passed with limited public input.
Ventnor business owners complain that employees take up metered spaces, leaving no room for potential customers.
Some streets have metered parking. Some have time limits, and some have two different limits, depending on what side of the street.
Read more in the Press of AC.
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