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Commuter Parking Fee Increase to be Reduced For Residents

Fair Lawn residents will be able to purchase $10 monthly commuter parking passes for the Radburn Station and Saddle River Road bus stops.

Parking signs at Radburn Station. File photo.
Parking signs at Radburn Station. File photo.
Fair Lawn officials will likely amend the fees to be charged under the new commuter parking system to allow residents to purchase monthly passes at a discounted rate.

Borough residents will still be able to purchase parking passes for $1 per day, but they will also be able to buy $10 monthly permits, according to Borough Manager Jim Van Kruiningen.

Non-residents will be able buy daily passes for $3 per day or $30 monthly permits, he said.

For Fair Lawn residents, that means a much reduced increase from the old $54 annual fee to $1 daily fee at Radburn and a decrease in cost for those who park in the Saddle River Road lot, which used to cost $160 for the year. 

Drivers can also set their monthly passes to renew automatically, Van Kruiningen said.

Officials made the changes after taking comments from residents at a special meeting earlier this month.

Several residents who attended a special meeting on the subject Tuesday said they were happy with the change.

"I think the rates are much fairer now," Arnold Spier said.

There is still one potential issue with the change. Parkmobile, the company which will take the payments and provide police with info on registered cars, will require at least 500 monthly transactions each month, or the borough will have to make up the difference. The company charges a $1 transaction fee on each monthly pass. Van Kruiningen estimated the borough would not have to pay more than $150, if anything.

The reduced rate at the Saddle River Road lot may actually attract commuters who use public transit in other towns, Traffic Officer Timothy Franco said. Currently, the lot is often half empty.

Officials will re-examine how the system has been working three months after it starts to ensure it is cost-effective.

It will still take some time before the new system takes effect, as officials will have to amend the ordinance the council approved last year. The new system should start by April 1, they said.

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