Residents of in North Arlington will gain more parking under a new ordinance that will officially shrink the much talked about “Yellow Zone” distance from a stop sign; announced Council President Daniel Pronti at the Jan. 19 Borough Council meeting. The process of researching state law and amending the borough ordinance was started last year by Pronti and former Councilman Richard Hughes. The New Jersey State Statute specifies that parking is limited to no less than 50 feet from a stop sign, except as provided in section 2 of P.L.2009, c.257 (C.39:4-138.6), which allows for a municipal authority to set certain permissible parking distances.
“We prioritized pedestrian safety while investigating the legalities amending our ordinance. We knew it was a sensitive issue, so we made sure we identified all the factors before proposing any changes. A municipality may mandate, by ordinance, the permissible distance a person may park a motor vehicle from a stop sign — or even a crosswalk, side line of a street or intersecting highway — from 50 feet to 25 feet,” Pronti said. A municipality may not, however, permit parking within 25 feet of a crosswalk, side line of a street or intersecting highway within 50 feet of a stop sign in a school zone during school hours.
Two summers ago, while bolstering the summer work program, the North Arlington Department of Public Works had workers paint yellow curbs, the appropriate legal distances from most stop signs, throughout North Arlington. Although workers followed New Jersey state law, residents had been parking to close to stop signs for many years. Once yellow lines were in place, a sudden lack of parking spaces was felt by residents, Pronti explained.
That’s when members of the Borough Council began the process of looking into the state statute. Pronti and Hughes took on the task of amending the borough ordinance. Presented by Councilmen Fitzhenry and Pronti, the first reading was unanimously approved. If passed, after the second reading on Feb. 9th, the borough ordinance will add one or two parking spaces to each street effected, according to Pronti. The amendment allows vehicles to park no less than 25 feet from a stop sign except on certain streets and with certain conditions.