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Ridgewood Presenting Design Options For Downtown Parking Garage

Mayor Paul Aronsohn and Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld brief guests on Ridgewood's proposed parking garage.
Mayor Paul Aronsohn and Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld brief guests on Ridgewood's proposed parking garage. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — A design team will be at the Dec. 2 Ridgewood Council meeting to talk with residents about the design of a multi-level downtown parking deck.

Renderings will be placed in the Village Hall lobby, Mayor Paul Aronsohn added.

An Election Day referendum question drew 3,236 votes — 65% -- in favor of the facility. Now it's a matter of determining the size, the mayor said.

"The strong 'yes' vote is a clear indication that Ridgewood residents want a parking deck at Hudson Street, and we want it now," Aronsohn said. "After decades of talk about building a parking deck, it is time to make it happen"

There are three options, the mayor said:

- Four floors and an open roof that could accommodate 405 cars. Price tag: approximately $12 million ( SEE the current rendering HERE ).

- 3½ floors and an open roof that could accommodate 355 cars, at $11 million.

- Three floors and an open roof that could accommodate 306 cars -- about $10.1 million.

Increasing parking rates and extending enforcement times could cover up to $15 million as projected in a final study, Councilman Michael Sedon told Daily Voice.

The problem, he said, is that "these are all assumptions."

Sedon suggested increasing parking rates from 50 cents an hour to $1 and enforcing parking times from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. — instead of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This, he said, would "give us real world data to compare with the assumptions."

Councilwoman Susan Knudsen feels the change in increased rates and extended hours perhaps should have happened already.

"It's not that i want to burden visitors and residents," Knudsen told Daily Voice. "It's prudent to make sure that the revenue stream is attainable and sustainable before we rely on it."

"If we borrow the money first and find out that the new rate structure is having a negative impact on the downtown," Sedon said, "then we're kind of stuck because we will have to pay back the bond."

Aronsohn said the process has been "extensive and inclusive and has provided for a good, robust conversation throughout our community."

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