Route 35 (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Route 35 (Photo: Daniel Nee)

With the northbound lanes of Route 35 through Lavallette’s business district now repaved and striped for parking spaces, borough officials are fuming about how the spaces were laid out.

The borough is now short 50 spaces along the highway compared to the layout before the project took place, Borough Administrator Christopher Parlow said recently.

Mayor Walter LaCicero recently had a meeting with state Department of Transportation representatives over the matter which “did not go well,” he said.

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“Their response was, ‘Oops, sorry, wasn’t on purpose,'” said LaCicero, adding that blame for the reduction in spaces was placed on the engineering contractor hired by the state.

Apparently, according to borough officials, some spaces were removed because they were deemed too close to crosswalks or wheelchair-accessible sidewalk ramps. Technically, a 25 foot buffer is required, but in some areas there was only a one-foot – or less – deficit. The buffer zone is measured from either a crosswalk or the “perceived crosswalk.”

“There were a couple issues where the spots were a couple inches short of being legal, so they didn’t put anything in there,” said LaCicero, who took the state agency to task for what he perceived to be a lack of concern.

“They don’t care what impact it’s had on us,” he said.

“We’re not going to let this go,” he said. “We can’t just sit back and take a reduction of 50 parking spaces for the business community.”