Commercial vans will need permits to park on street

Long Branch — Friday, the Mayor and Council of Long Branch announced they would crack down on out-of-town vans parking on public streets. Anyone who wishes to park a commercial van overnight will need to get a permit.

This is an issue council has been studying since early summer. Members have said rampant van parking is a safety hazard and a quality of life issue.

The city has heard numerous complaints about out-of-town vans using Long Branch streets for parking. When vans park on the street, they narrow the road, forcing drivers to stop and let oncoming cars through. It also makes pulling out of a driveway a challenge rather than a routine.

People driving carpentry vans sometimes drop nails or screws in the road, which then end up in an unlucky driver’s tire.

In response to these concerns, the mayor and council put an ordinance for introduction on the Nov. 26 city council agenda, requiring those who want to park their van on the street between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. to apply for a parking permit.

Only residents of Long Branch who operate a vehicle registered at their home can park their van on the street. The number of vans they can park on the street is limited to one van per household.

Permits for vans to park on the street will be issued by the Police Department’s Traffic Unit. The charge will be $25 per permit. The fee is based on the cost to the city of operating the van parking permit program.

Upon the ordinance passing, Long Branch will give van owners 60 days to comply, and then give tickets to offending vehicles.

The parking limitation on vans does not apply to cars, SUVs, pick-up trucks, or non-commercial vehicles. It only applies to commercial vehicles, such as vans and trucks with commercial licenses or with indicators of commercial use.

Vehicles with lettering or design showing the name and/or contact information of a commercial service are indicators of commercial use.

Oversize vehicles, such as dump trucks and tow-trucks (those in excess of 8,000lbs) are already prohibited on Long Branch streets and will not be eligible for the permit program.