When I refer to the invisible parking garages I am referring first to the White Street Parking Garage that has never been built. As explained in stories written below in 2001, 2005 and 2006 this garage should have been built years ago…one vote I believe stopped the passing of the garage over years. A free garage was offered to be built by a major NJ developer and donated to Red Bank. The offer was never addressed and eventually withdrawn about four or five years ago.
We have three other sort of “invisible” garages in Red Bank. The Globe Court Garage is thought to be used for hospital use only. That is not the case and it open to the public. Signage needs to direct people to this garage and the lots on the east side of town. There are no signs and have not been for as long as I can remember.
There is a Parking Garage on West Front Street in the Pazzo and office complex that is also free. Most people are not aware that it is open to the public and not just the restaurant and office complex. Once again “invisible” with no promotions and no signage is in place.
Third there is a four story Parking Garage behind Danny’s and the West Side Lofts also open to the public. Built to accommodate the residents of the West Side Lofts the top floor 91 spaces were designated for the 91 apartments. However most residents with 1 or 2 cars do not park on the roof, living on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd floor they park on those floors. The 91 spaces on the roof lot rarely hold more the 3 cars. Heat, cold, rain, snow, connivance are all reasons not to use those gated spaces. The garage is “invisible“due to lack of signage and promotions.
Written 2005: As a resident and businessman in Red Bank for over thirty-five years I have always felt that well planned development was necessary for healthy economic growth. I was greatly in favor of the White Street Parking Garage to alleviate the downtown parking problem. On March 8 of 2001 I wrote the following:
“Listen, my fellow residents and retailers, without the Parking Garage the retail district property values will stall. The cost of doing business always goes up and we will bear the burden of those costs in taxes. If you believe that Stan Sickles, all the town planners and accountants, and 67 years of parking studies, are even half correct in their surplus projections, then the White Street Parking Garage is a slam dunk. Without it you might as well park our economy. Oh yeah, and it also goes a long way in solving the Parking problem Red Bank has been working on for sixty-eight years. I guess "build or get off the lot" is a fitting statement at this time.”
Most of us knew the garage was a political football between the Democrats and Republicans and the garage itself was not really the issue. It could have and should have been built by know. Hopefully it can still be brought back as the lack of it is hurting the downtown retailers in major ways, ask any of them.
Written 2006: I am not talking about spending money on another study. It is time to re-open the parking garage on White Street issue. Contacting NJ Transit and working on one or two parking garages in this end of town could be very beneficial to both NJ Transit and the Arts and Antique District. Another part of the equation would be the businessmen and theater people getting their heads together and finding available space now not being used and working together with valet service on nights that we know are going to need a ton of parking spots. It worked very well during the Gala opening of the Two River Theater and could be short time fix until additional parking can be provided.
Today, 2016, the above written in 2006 is being spearheaded by the Red Bank Business Alliance along with the Count Basie Theater. Committees have been formed to try and tackle these now very complicated issues as years of layered policies have been heaped on The Parking Issues of Red Bank.