RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Ridgewood voters on Tuesday have a chance to support or reject spending $11.5 million on a parking garage at Hudson and South Broad streets.
“There is absolutely no language in the referendum – or in the ordinance it refers to – about the size or shape or look of the proposed parking deck,” the village says on its website . “This referendum is only about cost and location.”
Ridgewood voters went to the polls on the issue last November, when 65 percent supported the financing and building of the parking deck. That referendum wasn't binding.
The results of Tuesday’s referendum will be -- and will have the force of law.
Plans for the parking deck include 325 spaces, down from the 375 originally proposed.
A parking lot at the site has 77 spaces, according to the village manager’s office.
Proponents of the parking garage say it would benefit the more than 1,700 commuters who use the train station every day, shoppers who constantly circle the business district multiple seeking a spot, and local businesses.
A sign in the window at the Ridgewood Cycle Shop on North Broad Street expresses support for a garage.
So does Arthur Groom, owner of Arthur Groom & Co., a jewelry store and gemological laboratory that has been doing business downtown for 40 years.
“I’m strongly in favor of a parking garage. We’ve been talking about one since the ’20s,” Groom said. “It would encourage more people to come into town to shop.”
He called the downtown shopping district a “tremendous asset” to the village and complimented the nice job that has been done with sidewalks and lighting. The garage would further beautify the scene, he said.
“At Christmas, it’s just magnificent when they close off the street,” Groom noted. “But when the street is closed off, people have nowhere to park.”
Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The League of Women Voters of Ridgewood, which is nonpartisan, invites village residents with questions about the referendum to write to firstname.lastname@example.org.