If you’ve been to Red Bank you’ve had trouble parking. If a new plan, now in its infant stage, progresses, visitors won’t have to worry about that unwanted hip city experience any longer.
At a council workshop Wednesday night, Mayor Pat Menna said there have been talks with restaurant owners and Red Bank RiverCenter to develop a near downtown-wide valet system to take the mess of parking off visitors hands.
It’s a novel concept, one Menna said will help Red Bank get back to being cutting edge, and it seems as though it’s more than possible, considering the borough’s relatively small and easily traversable downtown. How it’s going to be implemented, however, remains to be seen.
Though details have to be ironed out, Menna said the reaction has only been positive thus far.
“The restaurateurs are very much in favor of this,” he said. “Based on the reaction we’ve gotten from restaurateurs, RiverCenter, and Riverview (Medical Center), everyone is really looking forward to getting this started.”
Menna said the idea, for now, is to cordon off a couple of spaces somewhere in a central location and identify them as a valet drop off. Valets would then take the cars to borough parking lots situated away from the downtown. How much the service would cost remains to be seen, but the expectation is that RiverCenter would staff and pay the valets.
The service would likely be active after 5pm so as not to disrupt daytime parking. Menna said the goal is to get the valet service up and operational as early as this summer.
Council President Art Murphy said he would give the idea a tentative green light pending a formal presentation from RiverCenter to the Red Bank Police Department, which would have to be involved.
“Let them do a presentation before we give them the OK,” he said.
Councilman Mike DuPont said the idea of parking in Red Bank is sometimes enough to keep visitors away. Hopefully, he said, the new valet service will help eliminate the worry of having to find parking downtown.
A valet service would also help set Red Bank apart, he said.
“Red Bank is open for business,” he said. “(This shows) that it is doing things that are out of the ordinary to attract business.”