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November  21

Were You There?


If not, here's what goes on at a parking lot party. There was great live jazz (until the endless parade of speakers put a stop to that), there were free hot dogs, and there was an experience most parents will never have again -- the chance to let their kids play on the freeway run around a parking garage without having to watch for cars. Oh, and I scored a free parking pass good for five days on the raffle. Despite the odd premise, lots of folks turned out for the event, including Baristaville bold-faced names Dick Grabowsky and Wife Swap alum Elaine Bramhall (not together) as well as quite a few Baristanet readers. Ribbon After a ribbon cutting with the head of the Montclair Parking Authority (gotta love their MPA hats), there was the ceremonial first car to enter the lot.

The car was driven by Mayor Remsen (seen above), who after driving his car into the lot, seemed to forget what he was supposed to do with it (park!). Instead he struggled for a while to make a U-turn in the middle of people waiting for hot dogs, and then finally drove out the exit. Since he didn't actually park his car, we'll never know who the first person to park in the Crescent Lot actually was. However, by 7 pm on Saturday night, everyone seemed to have discovered the lot. After cruising the streets with no luck, I drove to the lot and found the first available spot, all the way up on level 3. You think we'll need more parking?

November 21, 2005 in Only in Montclair | Permalink


I wanted to go but couldn't find a place to park. (sorry, couldn't resist)

Did anyone notice that they changed the one-way direction of South Park Street between The Crescent and Church Street? I witnessed a couple of drivers who also had not noticed the new signs as they turned onto Park from Crescent against the Do Not Enter sign. Making matters worse was the fact that no signs AT ALL were present for drivers exiting the parking deck onto Park Street.

Posted by: David | Nov 21, 2005 10:07:09 AM

To paraphrase Montclarion Yogi Berra, "No one goes there anymore because there's no place to park."

Montclair needs pedestrian malls, not more parking garages/lots. Church Street would be the first and easiest to convert. Then side streets, like Park and Fullerton, would be good candidates. Many urban centers have done this successfully.

Posted by: Jim | Nov 21, 2005 10:43:17 AM

Jim, many of the stores have no access for deliveries (or pick ups) other than the street. There is also a fairly large apartment house (#45) with it's parking lot entrance on Church Street.

While your idea is an interesting one, there are a lot more to concerns to overcome than just blocking the ends of the street.

Posted by: Dan Epstein | Nov 21, 2005 12:23:55 PM

Jim, many of the stores have no access for deliveries (or pick ups) other than the street. There is also a fairly large apartment house (#45) with it's parking lot entrance on Church Street.

While your idea is an interesting one, there are a lot more to concerns to overcome than just blocking the ends of the street.

Posted by: Dan Epstein | Nov 21, 2005 12:24:28 PM

Is the mayor flipping us the bird in that picture?

Posted by: drob | Nov 21, 2005 12:40:42 PM

I trust the Mayor hasn't been giving driving lessons to anyone lately.

And yes -- I'm in favor of Pedestrian Malls in Montclair -- starting perhaps with the one block of Church Street!

Posted by: Franklin | Nov 21, 2005 6:53:17 PM

Duh, does that mean closing off the entire street to vehicular traffic and making it a vast expanse of humanity, on foot, with paver blocks beneath? Sounds refreshing, almost like the Nicolette Mall in Minneapolis. Somehow, deliveries are managed to be made there in a major metropolis. We're talkin' blocks upon blocks of downtown.

Posted by: One for the road | Nov 21, 2005 9:12:00 PM

I love Minneapolis.

Posted by: late | Nov 22, 2005 8:03:03 AM

As Dustin Hoffman said: I'm an excellent driver

Posted by: Ed Remsen | Nov 22, 2005 8:16:14 AM

pedestrian malls...there's a great idea - the concept that killed downtowns across America.

Posted by: agath | Nov 22, 2005 1:54:14 PM

agath, we're not talking about closing off Bloomfield Ave. through downtown Montclair. How the hell does making Church Street a pedestrian mall going to kill its downtown, now that there's plenty of parking at the new Cresent Deck? Stop being so depressing!

Posted by: One for the road | Nov 22, 2005 9:01:31 PM

Well, it has something to do with the ability to drive by and see stores from your car, maybe even to have the possibility of parking across the street. I don't mean to be depressing, but while it seemed like a great idea, pedestrian malls failed miserably across the country (with one or two notable exceptions). The interesting thing is that now big retail developers are copying downtowns because they recognize that they work better than malls (right down to one I read about that cut a road through an existing mall!). Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by: agath | Nov 23, 2005 7:15:05 AM

What gives? No motorcycles allowed in new parking garage. It's discrimination I say. To the ramparts

Posted by: jmo | Nov 24, 2005 10:41:25 AM

Just YOUR motorcycle, Mosier

Posted by: Ed Remsen | Nov 26, 2005 8:15:11 PM

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