South Orange Parking Authority to Offer Free Metered Parking December 13-27

by The Village Green
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Every December, the South Orange Parking Authority covers parking meters with festive bags — offering the parking free to Holiday shoppers, while asking them to still abide by time restrictions.

This year, the grace period will be shortened due to revenue losses suffered by the authority as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meters will be bagged on December 13; bags will be removed and fees will be reinstated on December 28.

South Orange Parking Authority Executive Director Mark Hartwyk explains that free Holiday parking for the two-week period represents a “compromise,” forgoing revenue despite the difficulty it presents to the authority’s budget in order to “work with the business community” and encourage people to shop local during the all important Holiday retail season. Hartwyk notes that the South Orange Parking Authority has also created curbside parking limits for food pickup and given up parking spaces to outdoor dining throughout the pandemic — despite the fact that metered parking has been one of the few bright spots in revenue generation (commuter parking has been seriously impacted and the jitney canceled).

The two-week free metered parking is the parking authority’s way of saying Happy Holidays to the community and expressing confidence and hope in a better future, says Hartwyk.


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