It may not be ideal, but the number of parking spaces along Route 35 in Lavallette’s downtown business district will remain as they currently are.
The silver lining in the dispute between the borough and the state Department of Transportation is that construction barrels that have lined the east side of the northbound highway for months have, mostly, been removed.
Mayor Walter LaCicero said the borough was able to get back 26 spaces out of the 55 that were initially removed as part of the highway project.
“We’re going to go out and count now that they claim to be done with it,” LaCicero said.
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 a deficit of only a few inches. The buffer zone is measured from either a crosswalk or the “perceived crosswalk,” LaCicero said.
Barrels remain on Route 35’s northbound lanes in Ocean Beach and Normandy Beach for reasons unrelated to the Lavallette parking issue.
Lavallette officials say they have made progress on an additional parking concern in the wake of the Route 35 project: parking regulations in front of the municipal building.
Council members expressed fear earlier this month that a lack of time limitation for parking in front of the building would lead to all-day beach parking, effectively preventing residents from being able to visit town hall or the post office inside.
After consulting with the state, Lavallette will be allowed four 15 minute spaces, four two-hour spaces and one handicap space. Two other spaces will not be time-regulated. The state is expected to confirm the new regulations at an upcoming meeting of staff, Council President Anita Zalom said.