Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Daniel Benson, Wayne DeAngelo and Gordon Johnson to pave the way for special municipal parking programs for seniors was signed into law on Monday.
Specifically, the law (A-3917) permits municipal governing bodies and municipal parking authorities to create a Senior Citizen Priority Parking Program to provide residents age 60 or older with reduced parking permit rates and program-restricted parking spaces within the municipality, or within parking areas controlled by the parking authority.
“Getting to and from the grocery store, doctors’ appointments or any other daily activity can be a real headache when a lack of parking comes into play,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This law gives towns the ability to create a program that works best for seniors to help foster their mobility and independence.”
“Parking, whether there’s not enough of it or it’s too far away, can be a real issue for seniors,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This law will help towns in the most densely populated state in the nation create parking programs to make their daily lives a bit easier.”
The municipality or parking authority that creates a Senior Citizen Priority Parking Program shall determine the application process for the program, the cost of a reduced-rate parking permit, and the number and location of program-restricted parking spaces, and shall post that information on the municipality’s website and on the parking authority’s website, if one exists, and make the information available in printed form at the office of the municipal clerk.
A municipality or municipal parking authority that participates in the program shall not charge an application fee to senior citizens applying for a reduced-rate parking permit, but can charge a fee to issue or to renew the permit. A participating municipality also must make information about the program available in printed form at the office of the municipal clerk.
Under the law, the commissioner of transportation, in consultation with the director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, must design signs that identify program-restricted parking spaces and make them available to municipalities and parking authorities that create a Senior Citizen Priority Parking Program to be erected within parking areas where program-restricted parking spaces are available.
The measure gained unanimous approval from both houses of the legislature.