Summit adds parking spots for downtown area visitors

SUMMIT, NJ — As part of Summit’s Downtown Beautification Project, the city added 14 new parking spots to its downtown to alleviate the shortage of available parking spaces. The majority of new spaces are located along Springfield Avenue.

“In addition to the new parking spots, we also implemented a new valet parking opportunity for employees,” Summit Information Officer Amy Cairns told LocalSource over the phone. “We park their cars in the Springfield Avenue parking garage for a fee of four dollars after 10 a.m. This provides an additional 100 parking spaces for downtown visitors.”

Along with the new uber program the city offers, it appears Summit is committed to doing all it can to address the parking issue. The new additional parking spots are also located on Kent Place, DeForest Avenue, Summit Avenue and Railroad Avenue.

“This step is part of a larger comprehensive strategy to make it easier to find parking in Summit,” said Cairns. “People love to find parking directly in front of the facility they plan to visit. We want people to be able to access the downtown. As part of our Downtown Beautification Project, it gave us an opportunity to take a fresh look at how the parking spots are configured and how they could fit into the existing lots.”

Summit is also offering free 90-minute parking to all visitors during the holiday season. This should attract people to the area as well.

“There are white bags on meters that allow for the free 90 minute parking,” Cairns told LocalSource. “The 90 minutes is strictly enforced. We want a thriving downtown, but we don’t want to cause anyone frustration. We hope the 14 new spots will encourage people to join us and spread a little holiday cheer.”

The merchants parking at the parking garage on Springfield Avenue and the 14 new spots are just some of the ways the city is working to alleviate its parking-spot shortage.

“Fourteen new spots is a lot,” Cairns said. “It definitely makes a difference. I was just downtown today and I found a spot immediately. I did my shopping and left, when I realized I forgot to pick up an item. I immediately found another spot without any problem. Sometimes people might have to circle around a bit, but I think the issue has definitely improved. There are four new spots on the street where the movie theater used to be, which really helps. The merchants can take advantage of the valet parking which really helps the downtown.”

There are plans in place for future actions to be taken to alleviate the parking problem in Summit as well. These actions will be taken in the next year and will be one of the city’s priorities.

“Over the summer we paved the streets and restriped the parking spots and moved the crosswalks in order to add the 14 new parkings spots,” Mayor Nora Radest told LocalSource over the phone. “We created a parking assessment to improve the parking situation with action steps that will be taken over the next year. The council now has a full-fledge parking plan to be implemented over the next year. This will be one of the city’s top priorities.”